Comparing global gender inequality indices: How well do they measure the economic dimension?

No Thumbnail Available
11873.pdf(4.59 MB)
Published version
Barnat, Nour
MacFeely, Stephen
Peltola, Anu
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Published Version
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Economic empowerment is a relative latecomer to the gender equality discussion, and to the global development agenda. This paper presents a comparative study of selected global gender inequality indices: The Global Gender Gap Index (GGI); the Gender Inequality Index (GII); and the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI). The purpose of the study is to analyse the proportion of variation explained by economic conditions in these gender equality indices. A Principal Component Analysis approach is used to identify the most important factors or dimensions, such as, health, social conditions and education, economic and labour participation and political empowerment that impact on gender and drive gender inequality. These factors are compared with the Sustainable Development Goal targets to assess how well they align. The findings show that while economic participation and empowerment are significant factors of gender equality, they are not yet fully considered by gender equality indices which mainly focus on labour force participation. In this context, the paper also discusses the absence of international trade, a key driver of economic development, from the gender equality measures and makes some tentative recommendations for how this lacuna might be addressed in existing or future composite indices.
Principal Component Analysis , Gender equality , Composite indicators , 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , SDGs , Trade
Barnat, N., MacFeely, S. and Peltola (2019) 'Comparing Global Gender Inequality Indices: How Well Do They Measure the Economic Dimension?', Journal of Sustainability Research, 1, e190016 (33 pp). doi: 10.20900/jsr20190016