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Human Development Report 1995

Gender and Human Development

image of Human Development Report 1995
The theme of the 1995 Human Development Report is gender and human development. The sixth in an annual series prepared by an independent team of eminent economists and social scientists, it analyses global trends in closing and widening gender gaps in different regions and countries. It shows graphically, that no country treats its women as well as its men and identifies a new action agenda for promoting gender equity in the decades ahead. This report has been prepared in advance of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September 1995.

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Measuring gender inequality

This chapter is concerned with the measurement of gender inequality by simple composite indices based on readily available data. For this purpose, two composite measures are suggested to capture gender disparities and their adverse effects on social progress. Capturing such a complex reality in a single, simple index is not easy. But a beginning must be made, however limited, to place the problem of gender inequality firmly on the social agenda. For policy-makers particularly, it is useful to look at composite measures-for their own countries and for others-to draw policy conclusions about critical shortfalls in gender capabilities or opportunities and about priorities to consider in their plans of action. The basic indicator of human development, the human development index (lIDI), is supplemented in this Report by the gender-related development index (GDI). The GDI concentrates on the same variables as the HDI but focuses on inequality between women and men as well as on the average achievement of all people taken together.

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