Revisiting UNDP’s GDI and GEM: Towards an alternative
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There are two reasons why it is important to have a good measure of gender equality in countries or regions. One is that it is important in itself: countries or regions want to compare their achievements in this area with those of other countries. The second is that such a measure can be used to assess the relationship between gender equality and economic development. In 1995, UNDP has developed two composite indices of gender equality, the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). The paper reviews and extends conceptual and methodological critiques of not only the GDI, but also the GEM – the latter has thus far largely been neglected in the literature. The paper then goes on to develop an alternative composite measure of gender equality that draws on the good aspects of GDI and GEM, but attempts to avoid their methodological weaknesses.
- gender equality
- labour market participation