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Gender Equality

  • Date Submitted: 03/19/2010 06:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 11.5 
  • Words: 463
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Gender relations are the key to understanding the inequalities between men and women. These inequalities
are expressed in many ways - explicit and implicit. The explicit measures are well known and are revealed
in statistics depicting differences in the sex ratio, child infanticide, literacy rates, health and nutrition indicators,
wage differentials and ownership of land and property. The implicit measures are embedded in power
relations and hierarchies and are more difficult to measure. Located in the household, in custom, religion
and culture, these intra-household inequalities result in unequal distribution of power, unequal control over resources
and decision-making; dependence rather than self-reliance; and unfair, unequal distribution of work,
drudgery, and even food. For governments and concerned citizens seeking to redress these inequalities,
gender disaggregated data and indices are tools that can be used to identify gender inequalities, determine
the issues that must be addressed, take steps to redress the inequalities, provide feedback on the effectiveness
of actions and re-prioritise allocation of resources.
United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) annual Human Development Reports (HDRs) have successfully
shifted the development debates and attention from uni-dimensional, income or Gross Domestic
Product based indices to inclusion of non-income and multi-dimensional variables in measurement of development.
The Human Development Index (HDI) introduced by UNDP in 1990 is a simple average of three
dimension indices that measure average achievements in a country with regard to ‘A long and healthy life’,
as measured by life expectancy at birth; ‘Knowledge’, as measured by the adult literacy rate and the combined
primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio; and ‘A decent standard of living’, as measured
by estimated earned income in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) US$. In 1995, the UNDP introduced two new
indices: a...

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