On 18–19 June, the UNU Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST), in partnership with the Human Development Report Office at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), convened the expert group meeting Gender Equality in Human Development – Measurements Revisited.
The meeting reviewed several of the most prominent gender-related indexes in the Human Development Report (HDR) and elsewhere, discussing their strengths and weaknesses. The focus was on how the achievement of equality and empowerment may better be measured in an international context.
In 1995 the Human Development Report introduced a composite index to measure the status of women worldwide. The first indexes were replaced by the Gender Inequality Index in 2010, and complemented with the Gender Development Index in 2014. Meeting participants also reviewed other measurements used worldwide such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Social Institutions and Gender Index, and Social Watch’s Index of Gender Equity.
The meeting attracted experts from around the world representing a wide range of backgrounds including gender equality, development, public policy, statistics, social science, and economics. Likewise, they represented diverse stakeholders such as the UN, academia, and research and policy communities.
The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange knowledge and best practices in promoting the use and development of high quality socio-economic policy-relevant indicators and to discuss new ideas and proposals to revise the methodology for measuring gender disparities in human development. Discussions also touched on how barriers and disadvantages against women ought to be considered in the measurement of opportunity disparities and what new and emerging data sources might be included to help strengthen the way in which gender indexes capture capacity gaps between women and men.
The discussions were especially timely given the additional emphasis on the eradication of gender based inequalities in the post-2015 development agenda. This meeting is the first in a series of consultations that the Human Development Report Office at UNDP will be organising in the upcoming months to explore how to enrich the human development indexes.
For more information visit the UNU-GEST website.