Social Institutions and Gender Index

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) is an index designed to measure gender equality in a society. SIGI is a composite indicator of gender equality, introduced by the OECD Development Centre in 2007[1]. It solely focuses on social institutions that impact the roles of men and women, such as a society's norms, values and attitudes that relate to gender in non- OECD countries[2][3]. The SIGI is a multifaceted measure that focuses on five principal aspects of social institutions in regards to gender inequality: familial code, son preference, ownership rights, physical integrity, and civil liberties[3].

Construction of the IndicatorEdit

SIGI is based on a selection of indicators from the Gender, Institutions and Development (GID) Database. It specifically draws on the GID's social institutions variables that are grouped into five categories or sub-indices: Family Code, Physical Integrity, Civil Liberties, Son Preference (measured as the incidence of Missing women), and Ownership Rights. Family code delineates the social institutions that have an effect on a women’s power to make household decisions regarding their family.  Variables of this sub index include financial inheritance, parental authority and also marriage rights.  The civil liberties aspect focuses on women’s freedom with respects to social participation. Its variables include freedoms such as dress, and ability to move outside of the home for women.  Physical integrity includes variables that measure incidence of violence against women.  Female genital mutilation, laws banning sexual assault or rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence, and women who are reported missing are all variables included in this measure.  Ownership rights focuses on the access women have to property.  Whether or not women are allowed to own land and or houses and their access to bank loans and credit are foci under this sub index.  Son preference, also sometimes referred to as missing women, consists of variables looking at gender bias in mortality including human trafficking and missing person reports[4][5]. The index is an unweighted average of these 5 sub-indices and measures on a scale from 0 to 1 the level of gender inequality in social institutions (higher levels indicate greater inequality). Each term in the SIGI formula is squared to allow for partial comparison. The indicators that compose the SIGI would yield uniformly high or even perfect scores for OECD member countries, given that legal discrimination against women is not present in most of these countries. However, significant gender inequality may nevertheless exist in OECD member countries; therefore, SIGI scores are only calculated for non-OECD countries to avoid misleading comparisons.[2]

Use of the IndicatorEdit

Econometric analysis using the SIGI have shown the significant impact of social institutions on gender equality outcomes. For example, higher levels of gender inequality in social institutions are strongly correlated to lower participation of women in paid labor.[3] However, higher levels of inequality are not necessarily associated with lower levels of per capita income. Some high-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, for example, have high levels of gender inequality. Education, on the other hand, seems to be a strong promoter of women's rights. The higher the percentage of women who can read and write, the lower the discrimination they suffer in social institutions.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "About the OECD - OECD". Retrieved 2019-12-03.
  2. ^ a b Branisa, Boris; Klasen, Stephan; Ziegler, Maria; Drechsler, Denis; Jütting, Johannes (2014). "The Institutional Basis of Gender Inequality: The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)". Feminist Economics. 20 (2): 29–64. doi:10.1080/13545701.2013.850523.
  3. ^ a b c "Discrimination in Social Institutions and Women's Participation in the Labour Force - A Strong Relationship | Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)". Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  4. ^ a b "Social Institutions, Literacy and Growth | Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)". Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  5. ^ Cho, Seo-Young (2011). "Integrating Equality - Globalization, Women's Rights, Son Preference and Human Trafficking". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)


External linksEdit