Atlas of Gender and Development

How Social Norms Affect Gender Equality in non-OECD Countries

image of Atlas of Gender and Development

Illustrated with graphics and maps, the Atlas of Gender and Development gives readers a unique insight into the impact of social institutions − traditions, social norms and cultural practices − on gender equality in 124 non-OECD countries.

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 and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Tackling these inequalities is not easy: in many countries, discrimination against women is deeply rooted in social institutions such as the family and the law. These long-lasting codes of conduct, norms, traditions, and informal and formal laws determine gender  outcomes in education, health, political representation and labour markets.

The Atlas of Gender and Development is an indispensable tool for development practitioners, policy makers, academics and the wider public. It provides detailed country notes, maps and graphics describing the situation of women in 124 developing and transition countries using a new composite measure of gender inequality - the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) - developed by the OECD Development Centre.

"By providing information on the role of underlying social institutions, the Atlas of Gender and Development fills a gap in the reference literature on women and development. Recommended for academic libraries."

                                                                       -Feminist Collections, Volume 32, No. 1




OECD Development Centre

In 2005, Liberia became the first African country to elect a woman, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, as president. The Constitution of Liberia prohibits discrimination. In 2001, the government created a Ministry for Gender and Development and in 2006 published a National Gender-Based Violence Plan of Action. In 2009 the government also published “The Liberia National Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325”. Liberia is one of the first African countries to write this four year plan to advance women’s equality and mainstream gender in the country. Currently, the position of women in Liberia varies according to region, ethnic group and religion. Customary laws are a major contributing factor to inequality: women who are married according to these laws are considered to be legal minors. The civil war and widespread sexual violence that ravaged Liberia has also had grave consequences for women.


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