Gender Equality in Human Development – Measurement Revisited

By Hsu, Yu-Chieh; Kovacevic, Milorad

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are integral to human development. Since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, considerable progress has been made, yet in the mean while along with existing shortfalls, new and extensive challenges have emerged, pertaining both to women status and the full realization of their human rights. To take account of expanded research and knowledge on what effect these issues, and more and better data available, it is timely to review how achievement of the equality and empowerment of women may better be measured in an international context. With new sources and more data disaggregated by gender being collected and compiled, dimensions of deprivation that were previously difficult to measure may become accessible. At the same time, advances in conceptual, empirical and methodological knowledge could help design new approaches to quantified measurements of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The goals, targets, and indicators for the post-2015 agenda are likely to give rise to expanded sets of national indicators; regular review of progress could strengthen monitoring and sustain momentum. The Expert Group Meeting on gender equality and its measurement is intended as an occasion to revisit the various approaches to this issue through open dialogues that will take stock of several of the most prominent measures currently in use, explore areas that need greater attention, examine methodological underpinnings, and assess the potential of emerging data to fill gaps. These discussions are especially timely given the additional emphasis is given to the eradication of gender-based inequalities in the post-2015 development agenda, as manifested in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets and indicators.