ListMoto - Gender-related Development Index

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The GENDER DEVELOPMENT INDEX (GDI) is an index designed to measure of gender equality .

GDI together with the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) were introduced in 1995 in the Human Development Report
Human Development Report
written by the United Nations Development Program
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 average 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
Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) and Gross National Product (GNP).


* 1 Definition and calculation

* 2 Controversies

* 2.1 General debates * 2.2 Debates surrounding the life expectancy adjustment * 2.3 Debates surrounding income gaps

* 3 Suggested alternatives * 4 See also * 5 References


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
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. The GDI cannot be used independently from the Human Development Index
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.



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.


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).


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. 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.


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
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
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.



* Bhutan GNH Index * Broad measures of economic progress * Disability-adjusted life year
Disability-adjusted life year
* Economics
* Full cost accounting * Green national product * Green gross domestic product
Green gross domestic product
(Green GDP) * Gender-related Development Index * Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) * Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index
* Gross National Happiness
Gross National Happiness
* Gross National Well-being (GNW) * Happiness economics * Happy Planet Index (HPI) * Human Development Index
Human Development Index
(HDI) * ISEW (Index of sustainable economic welfare) * Progress (history)
Progress (history)
* Progressive utilization theory * Legatum Prosperity Index * Leisure satisfaction * Living planet index
Living planet index
* Law of Social Cycle * Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) * Money-rich, time-poor * OECD Better Life Index BLI * Post-materialism * Psychometrics * Subjective life satisfaction * Where-to-be-born Index
Where-to-be-born Index
* Wikiprogress * World Happiness Report
World Happiness Report
(WHR) * World Values Survey
World Values Survey
(WVS) * Human Poverty Index * Gender Parity Index * National Human Development Report
Human Development Report
* American Human Development Report
Human Development Report


* ^ A B C D E Klasen S. UNDP's Gender-Related Measures: Some Conceptual Problems and Possible Solutions. Journal of Human Development . July 2006;7(2):243-274. Available from: EconLit with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed September 26, 2011. * ^ 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

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Deprivation and poverty indicators



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Social vulnerability
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and mental health * Social and psychological value of money



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threshold * Secondary poverty * Asset poverty * Housing stress * Income deficit * Survival sex
Survival sex
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Debt bondage


* Below Poverty
Line (India) * Homeless Vulnerability Index * Misery index (economics) * Gini coefficient
Gini coefficient
* Genuine progress indicator (GPI) * Legatum Prosperity Index * Poverty
gap index



* Poverty
and Violence * Disability and poverty * Food insecurity


* India State Hunger Index * Global Hunger Index * Disability-adjusted life year
Disability-adjusted life year
(DALYs) * Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index


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Human Development Index
(HDI) * Multidimensional Poverty
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Living Planet Index
(LPI) * Progress out of Poverty



* Feminization of poverty


* Gender-related Development Index (GDI) * Gender Parity Index


* Theories of poverty * Well-being
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Diseases of poverty


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Chagas disease
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* Malnutrition
* Priority review voucher
Priority review voucher

* v * t * e

Indices of Deprivation


* Carstairs index * Index of Multiple Deprivation 2000 (IMD2000) * Indices of deprivation 2004 (ID2004) * Indices of deprivation 2007 (ID2007) * Indices of deprivation 2010 (ID2010)


* Underprivileged area score * Department of Environment Index

* Environment portal * Category
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