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Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure: Implementing Some Specific Proposals

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  • Stephan Klasen
  • Dana Schüler

Abstract

Since their inception in 1995, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s Gender-Related Development Index (GDI) and Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) have been criticized on conceptual and empirical grounds. In 2005-6, the UNDP's Human Development Report Office undertook a review of these indicators and suggested some modifications. This study extends this work by adjusting the recommendations, making concrete proposals for two gender-related indicators, and presenting illustrative results for these proposed measures. These new measures include the calculation of a male and female Human Development Index (HDI), as well as a gender gap measure (GGM) to replace the GDI as a measure of gender inequality. The study also proposes and implements several modifications and simplifications to the GEM. With these adjustments, a number of Sub-Saharan countries now rank much higher, countries in the Middle East have lower scores in both measures, and some European countries fare notably worse in the revised GEM.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Klasen & Dana Schüler, 2011. "Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure: Implementing Some Specific Proposals," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-30, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:17:y:2011:i:1:p:1-30
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2010.541860
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