New Social Institutions and Gender Index Report from OECD

The OECD’s Development Centre has updated their Social Institutions and Gender Index report. The SIGI, launched in 2009, gathers and reports on the underlying social institutions that influence gender roles and relations, complementing other gender equality measures that report on outcomes such as educational attainment or labor force participation. The SIGI finds that countries which display higher levels of discrimination against women are also performing more poorly on a range of development indicators.

The 2012 report shows some areas of progress, such as:

  • The average prevalence of early marriage across countries has decreased to 17% in 2012 from 21% in 2009.
  • The number of countries with specific legislation to combat domestic violence has more than doubled from 21 in 2009 to 53 in 2012.
  • 29 countries have quotas to promote women’s political participation at both national and sub-national levels.

On the other hand, there remain some significant areas for concern:

  • 86 out of 121 countries scored in the 2012 SIGI have discriminatory inheritance laws or practices.
  • Despite the introduction of laws, attitudes that perpetuate violence against women persist. On average, for the countries scored in the SIGI, around half of women believe domestic violence is justified in certain circumstances.
  • On average, women hold only 15% of land titles for countries where data is available.

The SIGI website includes country profiles, a key findings summary, and a spreadsheet database containing detailed statistics that may be downloaded for further analysis. Find out more at genderindex.org.