Gender inequality holds back not just women but the economic and social development of entire societies. Overcoming discrimination is important in the fight against poverty in developing countries. But tackling such inequalities is not easy: in many countries, discrimination against women is deeply rooted in social institutions such as the family and the law.
The OECD Atlas of Gender and Development provides an innovative new way of looking at sources of discrimination. It presents a new composite measure of gender inequality, the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), developed by the OECD Development Centre. The index examines women’s status in five key areas:
• Family Code—for example, early marriage, polygamy, and inheritance rights
• Physical Integrity—violence against women and genital mutilation
• Son Preference—abortion of female fetuses and infanticide of baby girls
• Civil Liberties—women’s freedom of movement and dress
• Ownership Rights—women’s access to land, property, and credit