This paper presents a comparative study of selected global gender inequality indices: The Global Gender Gap Index (GGI); the Gender Inequality Index (GII); and the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI). A Principal Component Analysis approach is used to identify the most important factors or dimensions, such as, health, social conditions and education, economic and labour participation and political empowerment that impact on gender and drive gender inequality. These factors are compared with the Sustainable Development Goal targets to assess how well they align. The findings show that while economic participation and empowerment are significant factors of gender equality, they are not fully incorporated into gender equality indices. In this context, the paper also discusses the absence of international trade, a key driver of economic development, from the gender equality measures and makes some tentative recommendations for how this lacuna might be addressed.

Sustainable Development Goals:

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  • Published online: 29 Sep 2020
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