Explain the difference between GDI and GEM and do you think that these measures are really appropriate to measure women's status and decision-making power in the Arab region

1421 Words May 7th, 2004 6 Pages
The United Nations development program is a program aimed and geared towards helping developing nations towards real development. Obviously development can't by any means take place without the presence of gender equality. In United Nations development program has developed two methods in order to measure both women's development as well as women's empowerment. The two conceptual indexes that measure women's development and their empowerment are the GDI and the GEM indexes. I do not believe that these indexes are accurate because they operate under a system of classification developed by the UNDP of levels subjective to only high, medium and low human development; unfairly this resulted in extremely low measures for Arab countries. …show more content…
Even though illiteracy weighs 2/3rd of the educational index, these very same countries have very high, high achievement rates. The index doesn't take into account population size, or economic structures or levels of income none the less all countries are treated under the same criteria. Hence the results of the GDI were not very pleasing the Arab countries.

The results of the GEM index were even worse than those of the GDI for the Arab world. As mentioned before the GEM measures earned income shares, percentage share of administrative and managerial posts as well as professional and technical posts held by women. All Arab countries were below the 0.5 cut off line set by the UNDP, the UNDP concluded that the whole region has an aversion to gender equality as a whole. This index on its own has eliminated women working in the rural sector as they have obviously chosen to adopt and only urban model. This index doesn't reflect any form of decision making power by simply to form a cut off line that stops short at white collar jobs, not to mention countries with strong rural and agricultural bases. Using the new classification system though it again seems that the whole Arab world is also at the low zone. I completely agree based on this that the GEM indicators are completely useless simply because they don't match the criteria of developing countries; the reason why the indicators were made in the first place.

If we were to