Gender and indicators: can equality be measured?

By UNMIL / Christopher Herwig

The year 2015 signals the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) era and the creation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A new Key Issues Guide, written by BRIDGE for the Eldis website, provides an overview of some of the key debates and approaches in measuring change in gender equality. 

This new guide updates some of the issues originally covered in BRIDGE’s popular 2007 Cutting Edge Pack on gender and indicators, discusses the proposed stand-alone SDG on gender, and considers what more needs to be done to design measuring frameworks and approaches that go beyond assumptions of linear change around cause and effect, and can capture the complexity of change in the lives of women, men, girls and boys. 

A lot of progress has been made on measuring change in gender equality since 2007. There are now multiple, publicly available gender indices, aiding the measurement of things such as institutional gender equality, education and economic participation, and different types of gender gaps. There are also transformative indicators that capture changes in social norms and practices in areas like marriage, family, market and state. 

The Key Issues Guide contains a carefully selected collection of resources for further reading on this topic.

Read the full, gender and indicators guide here at the Eldis website.

Read the full BRIDGE Cutting Edge Pack on gender and indicators here at the BRIDGE website.

Photo: By UNMIL / Christopher Herwig, under a CC License.