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



Why do we need a SIGI index?

OECD Development Centre

Measuring the status and tracking the progress of gender equality is an important undertaking, but a difficult one given the various dimensions along which discrimination against women occurs. The Social Institutions and Development Index (SIGI) focuses on an aspect of gender inequality that is usually neglected by other gender-related measures, which tend to focus on measuring gender inequalities in education, health, economic or political participation and other dimensions. By contrast, the SIGI measures social institutions – as mirrored by societal practices and legal norms – that produce inequalities between women and men in non-OECD countries. The added value of the SIGI is that it presents a wide range of new dimensions and variables that are not considered by other indices. It offers additional information, which complements – as apposed to substitutes – existing measures.


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