Cross-National Indices with Gender-Differentiated Data: What Do They Measure? How Valid are They?
Social Indicators Research, 111:801-838 (2013)
38 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2013
The two cross-national indices with gender-differentiated data introduced by the UNDP in 1995, as well as several other such indices developed subsequently, are an important resource for researchers and policy makers interested in gender disparities. Yet questions remain regarding how these indices should be interpreted and how valid they are. Relying on a framework that synthesizes key guidelines concerning the methodology of measurement, this article offers an assessment of indices currently used to study gender disparities on a global scale and sheds light on these unresolved questions. We answer two questions — what do these indices with gender-differentiated data actually measure? And, how valid are these indices? — And discuss the implications of our assessment for users and producers of gender indices.
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