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The Gender Related Development Index (GDI) is an index designed to measure gender equality.

GDI together with the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) were introduced in 1995 in the Human Development Report written by the United Nations Development Program. The aim of these measurements was to add a gender-sensitive dimension to the Human Development Index (HDI). The first measurement that they created as a result was the Gender-related Development Index (GDI). The GDI is defined as a "distribution-sensitive measure that accounts for the human development impact of existing gender gaps in the three components of the HDI" (Klasen 243). Distribution sensitive means that the GDI takes into account not only the averaged or general level of well-being and wealth within a given country, but focuses also on how this wealth and well-being is distributed between different groups within society. The HDI and the GDI (as well as the GEM) were created to rival the more traditional general income-based measures of development such as gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national product (GNP).[1]

Contents

Definition and calculationEdit

The GDI is often considered a "gender-sensitive extension of the HDI" (Klasen 245). It addresses gender-gaps in life expectancy, education, and incomes. It uses an "inequality aversion" penalty, which creates a development score penalty for gender gaps in any of the categories of the Human Development Index which include life expectancy, adult literacy, school enrollment, and logarithmic transformations of per-capita income. In terms of life expectancy, the GDI assumes that women will live an average of five years longer than men. Additionally, in terms of income, the GDI considers income-gaps in terms of actual earned income.[1] The GDI cannot be used independently from the Human Development Index (HDI) score and so, it cannot be used on its own as an indicator of gender-gaps. Only the gap between the HDI and the GDI can actually be accurately considered; the GDI on its own is not an independent measure of gender-gaps.[2]

Gender Development Index (2017)Edit

List of countries by their Gender Development Index 2017.[3]

2017
Rank
Country Gender Development Index Human Development Index
(Women)
Human Development Index
(Men)
1   Qatar 1.031 0.870 0.843
2   Latvia 1.030 0.858 0.834
3   Lithuania 1.026 0.868 0.846
4   Mongolia 1.023 0.750 0.733
5   Belarus 1.020 0.814 0.799
6   Estonia 1.019 0.876 0.860
6   Russia 1.019 0.823 0.808
8   Barbados 1.015 0.805 0.792
9   Namibia 1.014 0.651 0.642
9   Uruguay 1.014 0.807 0.794
11   Trinidad and Tobago 1.013 0.794 0.784
12   Venezuela 1.011 0.762 0.754
13   Kazakhstan 1.007 0.801 0.795
14   Poland 1.006 0.866 0.861
15   Moldova 1.005 0.701 0.698
15   Vietnam 1.005 0.696 0.692
17   Lesotho 1.004 0.519 0.516
18   Slovenia 1.003 0.898 0.895
19   Burundi 1.002 0.419 0.418
20   Finland 1.000 0.917 0.917
20   Philippines 1.000 0.699 0.698
22   Argentina 0.997 0.816 0.819
22   Colombia 0.997 0.747 0.749
24   Thailand 0.996 0.753 0.756
25   Saint Lucia 0.993 0.744 0.749
25   Ukraine 0.993 0.746 0.751
27   Brazil 0.992 0.755 0.761
27   Sweden 0.992 0.927 0.934
27   United States 0.992 0.919 0.926
30   Norway 0.991 0.945 0.953
30   Croatia 0.991 0.828 0.835
30   Slovakia 0.991 0.850 0.858
33   Brunei 0.990 0.846 0.854
33   Bulgaria 0.990 0.808 0.816
33   Kuwait 0.990 0.791 0.799
36   Dominican Republic 0.989 0.728 0.736
37   Jamaica 0.988 0.731 0.739
37   Panama 0.988 0.782 0.791
39    Switzerland 0.987 0.937 0.949
39   France 0.987 0.894 0.906
41   Canada 0.986 0.916 0.930
41   Czech Republic 0.986 0.881 0.894
43   Romania 0.985 0.804 0.817
44   Hungary 0.985 0.830 0.843
45   South Africa 0.984 0.692 0.704
45   Cyprus 0.984 0.853 0.875
47   Portugal 0.983 0.839 0.853
48   Singapore 0.982 0.922 0.939
49   Denmark 0.980 0.919 0.938
51   Belize 0.979 0.699 0.714
51   Ireland 0.979 0.926 0.946
51   Spain 0.979 0.879 0.898
54   Ecuador 0.978 0.741 0.769
54   Honduras 0.978 0.608 0.622
56   Botswana 0.976 0.707 0.725
56   Malaysia 0.976 0.791 0.810
56   Serbia 0.976 0.777 0.796
59   Australia 0.975 0.926 0.950
59   Japan 0.975 0.894 0.917
59   Israel 0.975 0.890 0.913
59   Georgia 0.975 0.766 0.786
59   Suriname 0.975 0.705 0.723
64   Costa Rica 0.974 0.779 0.800
65   Paraguay 0.972 0.690 0.710
66   Belgium 0.971 0.901 0.928
66   Austria 0.971 0.893 0.920
68   Albania 0.970 0.772 0.796
69   Armenia 0.969 0.740 0.764
69   El Salvador 0.969 0.663 0.684
69   Luxembourg 0.969 0.888 0.916
72   Mauritius 0.968 0.773 0.799
72   United Arab Emirates 0.968 0.832 0.859
74   Germany 0.967 0.919 0.951
74   Italy 0.967 0.863 0.893
76   Iceland 0.966 0.920 0.952
76   Nicaragua 0.966 0.642 0.665
76   Netherlands 0.966 0.913 0.944
76   New Zealand 0.966 0.900 0.932
80   Hong Kong 0.965 0.916 0.949
81   Greece 0.964 0.853 0.885
82   Madagascar 0.962 0.511 0.531
83   Chile 0.961 0.823 0.856
84   Kyrgyzstan 0.960 0.654 0.681
84   Malta 0.960 0.858 0.893
84   Tonga 0.960 0.707 0.736
84   United Kingdom 0.960 0.903 0.941
88   Myanmar 0.959 0.563 0.586
89   Montenegro 0.956 0.794 0.831
90   China 0.955 0.735 0.769
91   Mexico 0.954 0.752 0.789
92   Peru 0.950 0.728 0.766
93   Azerbaijan 0.949 0.734 0.773
93   Cape Verde 0.949 0.632 0.666
95   Guyana 0.948 0.631 0.666
95   Guatemala 0.948 0.630 0.665
97   North Macedonia 0.946 0.731 0.773
98   Uzbekistan 0.945 0.687 0.726
99   Eswatini 0.943 0.568 0.603
100   Oman 0.942 0.781 0.829
100   Cuba 0.942 0.751 0.797
⌀ average 0.941 0.705 0.749
102   Rwanda 0.941 0.508 0.540
102   Zambia 0.941 0.569 0.605
104   Malawi 0.936 0.460 0.492
105   Sri Lanka 0.935 0.738 0.789
106   Republic of the Congo 0.934 0.583 0.624
106   Laos 0.934 0.579 0.621
108   Tajikistan 0.933 0.624 0.669
109   Indonesia 0.932 0.666 0.715
109   South Korea 0.932 0.866 0.929
110   Bahrain 0.931 0.805 0.865
110   Kenya 0.931 0.568 0.610
112   Bolivia 0.929 0.665 0.716
112   Libya 0.929 0.668 0.719
114   Tanzania 0.928 0.517 0.557
115     Nepal 0.925 0.552 0.598
116   Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.924 0.739 0.800
116   Zimbabwe 0.924 0.513 0.555
118   Turkey 0.922 0.755 0.819
119   Maldives 0.919 0.679 0.739
120   Cambodia 0.914 0.553 0.605
121   Gabon 0.911 0.670 0.735
121   Senegal 0.911 0.481 0.528
123   Ghana 0.910 0.563 0.619
124   Mozambique 0.904 0.414 0.458
125   Tunisia 0.897 0.684 0.762
126   Bhutan 0.893 0.576 0.645
127   São Tomé and Príncipe 0.892 0.550 0.617
128   Gambia 0.890 0.434 0.487
129   Lebanon 0.889 0.701 0.788
130   Bangladesh 0.881 0.567 0.644
131   Palestine 0.877 0.623 0.710
131   Saudi Arabia 0.877 0.782 0.892
133   Comoros 0.876 0.465 0.531
134   Benin 0.875 0.479 0.547
135   Egypt 0.872 0.636 0.729
135   Sierra Leone 0.872 0.389 0.446
137   Iran 0.871 0.726 0.834
138   Burkina Faso 0.870 0.393 0.452
139   Nigeria 0.868 0.494 0.569
140   Cameroon 0.866 0.513 0.593
141   Uganda 0.865 0.475 0.550
142   Algeria 0.861 0.680 0.791
143   Jordan 0.857 0.658 0.767
144   Timor-Leste 0.855 0.567 0.663
145   Democratic Republic of the Congo 0.852 0.420 0.493
146   Ethiopia 0.846 0.424 0.501
146   Liberia 0.846 0.398 0.470
148   Mauritania 0.845 0.470 0.556
149   Ivory Coast 0.841 0.446 0.531
149   India 0.841 0.575 0.683
151   Morocco 0.838 0.598 0.713
152   Sudan 0.831 0.446 0.537
153   South Sudan 0.826 0.348 0.422
154   Iraq 0.823 0.603 0.733
155   Togo 0.822 0.446 0.542
156   Niger 0.812 0.317 0.391
157   Mali 0.811 0.380 0.469
158   Guinea 0.810 0.411 0.507
159   Syria 0.788 0.443 0.563
160   Central African Republic 0.780 0.319 0.409
161   Chad 0.775 0.350 0.452
162   Pakistan 0.750 0.465 0.620
163   Afghanistan 0.625 0.364 0.583
164   Yemen 0.425 0.223 0.524

ControversiesEdit

General debatesEdit

In the years since its creation in 1995, much debate has arisen surrounding the reliability, and usefulness of the Gender Development Index (GDI) in making adequate comparisons between different countries and in promoting gender-sensitive development. The GDI is particularly criticized for being often mistakenly interpreted as an independent measure of gender-gaps when it is not, in fact, intended to be interpreted in that way, because it can only be used in combination with the scores from the Human Development Index, but not on its own. Additionally, the data that is needed in order to calculate the GDI is not always readily available in many countries, making the measure very hard to calculate uniformly and internationally. There is also worry that the combination of so many different developmental influences in one measurement could result in muddled results and that perhaps the GDI (and the GEM) actually hide more than they reveal.[1]

Debates surrounding the life expectancy adjustmentEdit

More specifically, there has been a lot of debate over the life-expectancy component of the Gender-related Development Index (GDI). As was mentioned previously, the GDI life expectancy section is adjusted to assume that women will live, normally, five years longer than men. This provision has been debated, and it has been argued that if the GDI was really looking to promote true equality, it would strive to attain the same life-expectancy for women and men, despite what might be considered a biological advantage or not. However, this may seem paradoxical in terms of policy implications, because, theoretically, this could only be achieved through providing preferential treatment to males, effectively discriminating against females. Furthermore, it has been argued that the GDI doesn't account for sex-selective abortion, meaning that the penalty levied against a country for gender inequality is less because it affects less of the population (see Sen, Missing Women).[1]

Debates surrounding income gapsEdit

Another area of debate surrounding the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) is in the area of income gaps. The GDI considers income-gaps in terms of actual earned income. This has been said to be problematic because often, men may make more money than women, but their income is shared. Additionally, the GDI has been criticized because it does not consider the value of care work as well as other work performed in the informal sector (such as cleaning, cooking, housework, and childcare). Another criticism of the GDI is that it only takes gender into account as a factor for inequality, it does not, however, consider inequality among class, region or race, which could be very significant.[1] Another criticism with the income-gap portion of the GDI is that it is heavily dependent on gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national product (GNP). For most countries, the earned-income gap accounts for more than 90% of the gender penalty.

Suggested alternativesEdit

As was suggested by Halis Akder in 1994, one alternative to the Gender-related Development Index would be the calculation of a separate male and female Human Development Index (HDI). Another suggested alternative is the Gender Gap Measure which could be interpreted directly as a measure of gender inequality, instead of having to be compared to the Human Development Index (HDI) as the GDI is. It would average the female-male gaps in human development and use a gender-gap in labor force participation instead of earned income. In the 2010 Human Development Report, another alternative to the Gender-related Development Index (GDI), namely, the Gender Inequality Index (GII) was proposed in order to address some of the shortcomings of the GDI. This new experimental measure contains three dimensions: Reproductive Health, Empowerment, and Labor Market Participation.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Klasen S. UNDP's Gender-Related Measures: Some Conceptual Problems and Possible Solutions. Journal of Human Development [serial online]. July 2006;7(2):243-274. Available from: EconLit with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 26, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Klasen, Stephan1; Schuler, Dana. Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure: Implementing Some Specific Proposals. Feminist Economics. January 2011 (1) 1 - 30
  3. ^ "Gender Development Index". hdr.undp.org. Retrieved 2019-01-02.