Explain The Difference Between Gdi And Gem And Do You Think That These Measures Are Really Appropriate To Measure Women's Status And Decision Making Power In The Arab Region

1512 words - 7 pages

The United Nations development program is a program aimed and geared towards helping developing nations towards real development. Obviously development can't by any means take place without the presence of gender equality. In United Nations development program has developed two methods in order to measure both women's development as well as women's empowerment. The two conceptual indexes that measure women's development and their empowerment are the GDI and the GEM indexes. I do not believe that these indexes are accurate because they operate under a system of classification developed by the UNDP of levels subjective to only high, medium and low human development; unfairly this resulted in ...view middle of the document...

A lot of Arab countries objected to this since these sub indexes are extremely low in Arab countries and do not substantially translate the realities of third world countries.In order to answer your question concerning whether these two measures are actually appropriate in measuring women's status and decision making power further, the actual method of calculating such factors have to be looked upon with greater scrutiny. Primarily the Gender development index as we said measures life expectancy, educational attainment and income levels. Certain allowance is made for women's biological edge in calculating life expectancy. This index uses two measures to measure educational attainment: Literacy rate and combined primary secondary and tertiary enrollment. It is important to note that 2/3rd of the weight of this equation are put upon just literacy. Income is measured based on calculation of male and female wages as a ration to the average wage, then it is multiplied by the ration of male and female in the labor force. The male and female's share are then divided respectively by the population share. If there is any gender disparity between proportional shares and earned income, average real gross domestic product is adjusted downwards. The size of the adjustment is based on the inequality. Both the GDI and the GEM reflect each member in the family's earning power. If the GDI has a value of 1, it means that there is perfect gender achievement in basic abilities and that there is perfect gender equality. If it ranks 0.5, the GDI reflects the fact that women suffer double deprivation of gender disparity and low achievement in that specific country. If we were to take a look at the GDI of Arab states in 1995 we would find a number of alarming problems with the actual index itself. Some of the data dates back from 1990, hence by all means outdated. The GDI itself is unweighted assigning only 1/3rd of value to income, education and health. The female income is grossly underestimated in many countries especially Egypt, the UNDP actually chose an older survey which had three times less women working in the agricultural field. Even though illiteracy weighs 2/3rd of the educational index, these very same countries have very high, high achievement rates. The index doesn't take into account population size, or economic structures or levels of income none the less all countries are treated under the same criteria. Hence the results of the GDI were not very pleasing the Arab countries. The results of the GEM index were even worse than those of the GDI for the Arab world. As mentioned before the GEM measures earned income shares, percentage share of administrative and managerial posts as well as professional and technical posts held by women. All Arab countries were below the 0.5 cut off line set by the UNDP, the UNDP concluded that the whole region has an aversion to gender equality as a whole. This index on its own has eliminated women working in...

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