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Human development and gender empowerment: methodological and measurement issues

journal contribution
posted on 1998-06-01, 00:00 authored by J R Pillarisetti, Mark McGillivray
In its Human Development Report 1995 the UNDP came up with two new and potentially very important indicators: the Gender-related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). The second of these is the focus of the current article. The GEM is intended by the UNDP to reflect gender 'inequalities in key areas of political and economic participation and decision-making' (UNDP, 1995, rear cover). It is generally consistent with the UNDP's valid concerns about gender issues, especially in developing countries. The purpose of this article is to examine some conceptual and measurement aspects of the GEM. Like many critiques of the HDI which have appeared in the literature, it first looks at the composition and construction of the new indicator. It then points to a number of problems with the GEM, arguing, inter alia, that some issues relating to empowerment across nations are overlooked. It then analyses the determinants of the GEM. Such an exercise has potentially important implications for pro-empowerment policies.

History

Journal

Development policy review

Volume

16

Issue

2

Pagination

197 - 203

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Chichester, Eng.

ISSN

0950-6764

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

1998, Overseas Development Institute

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