Gender equality, human development and demographic trends: are they (jointly) evolving in the right direction?

Ignacio Permanyer, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Montse Solsona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The aim of this paper is two-fold. Firstly, we want to explore the evolution of gender equality in African countries for recent years using DHS and UN data. To do so, we will introduce multidimensional gender equality indices that are innovative on two counts: 1.Their methodological/technical definition and 2.The relevant dimensions that are taken into account. Secondly, we want to study the way in which gender equality levels evolve in time together with other important indices, like the human development index or some basic fertility and mortality indicators. This exercise constitutes an important empirical test to widespread theories (that motivate important policy programs) suggesting that higher gender equality must be accompanied by higher human development, lower fertility and lower mortality. Our findings suggest that, even if on average the aforementioned relationships hold, the evolution of these indicators towards certain target values has slowed down in the past few years.

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Presented in Session 97: Gender inequities and MDGs