week 8 - material.docx

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Women's and Gender Studies
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Connie Guberman

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WEEK 8: Article: The Gender Gap Index 2008 - the rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them - also intended to serve as a base for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps the report gives a more detailed picture of the relative strengths and weakness of each country’s performance compared with that of other nations Measuring the global gender gap  3 basic concepts: 1. focuses on measuring gaps rather than levels a. designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities in those countries b. rank countries on their gender gaps not on their development level c. rewards countries for smaller gaps in access to these resources, regardless of the overall level of resources d. based on the size of the gap between male and female enrolment rates, but not for the overall levels of education in the country 2. captures gaps in outcome variables rather than gaps in means or input variables a. evaluates countries based on outcome variables rather than input measures (variables related to policies, culture or customs) b. looks at where women and men stand with regard to some fundamental outcome variables related to basic rights such as health, education, economic participation and political employment. 3. ranks countries according to gender equality rather than women’s empowerment a. ranks countries according to their proximity to gender equality rather than to women’s empowerment b. focus on whether the gap between women and men in the chosen variables has declined, rather than whether women are winning the battle of sexes c. rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men in particular variables examines gap between men and women in 4 categories: 1. economic participation and opportunity 2. Educational attainment 3. Political empowerment 4. Health and survival Examples that you may want to include in your answers (to show that you did your readings)  Philippines: At one point (in 2006 I think) Philippines was one of two countries in Asia to have closed the gender gap on both education and health was one of only eleven in the world to have done so  China continues to be one of the lowest ranking countries on the health and survival subindex (rank 126)  the result of disproportionate sex ratio at birth that contributes to China’s “missing women” phenomenon (The phenomenon of the missing women of Asia is a shortfall in the number of women in Asia relative to the number that would be expected if there was no sex-selective abortion or female infanticide or if the newborn of both sexes received similar levels of health care and nutrition) The Gender Gap Index is useful to make international comparisons The most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its human talent – the skills, education and productivity of its workforce. And since women account for one half of the potential talent base throughout the world, a nation’s competiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent. To maximize its competitiveness and development potential, each country should strive for gender equality – to give women the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as men The data from the Global Gender Gap Index 2008 report show a correlation between gender equality and the level of development of countries  there is evidence that empowering women means a more efficient use of a nation’s human talent - reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth - research demonstrates that investment in girls’ education reduces female fertility rates, lower infant and child mortality rates, lowers maternal morality rates, increases women’s labor force participation rates and earnings and fosters educational investment in children - these outcomes ^ not only improve the quality of life, they also foster faster economic growth - In the Middle East  substantial investment have reduced the gender gap in education and health but the gender gap in economic opportunity remains the widest in the world, with only about one third of women participating in
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