Gender Inequality Index

Measure of gender inequality in health, empowerment, and economic status in 159 countries

  • Source: UNDP

The Gender Inequality Index (GII), released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is an inequality index for 159 countries from 1995 to 2015. It measures gender inequalities and is calculated using 3 important aspects of human development: (1) reproductive health, measured by maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates; (2) empowerment, measured by proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by females and proportion of adult females and males aged 25 years and older with at least some secondary education; and (3) economic status, expressed as labor market participation and measured by labor force participation rate of female and male populations aged 15 and older. The index ranges from 0, where women and men fare equally, to 1, where one gender fares as poorly as possible in all measured dimensions. The higher the GII value, the more disparities between females and males and the more loss to human development. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Gender Inequality Index (GII)


The Gender Inequality Index does not capture the length and breadth of gender inequality. For example, the use of national parliamentary representation excludes participation at the local government level and elsewhere in community and public life. The labor market dimension lacks information on employment, having an adequate job, and unpaid work that is mostly done by women. In addition, the index misses other important dimensions, such as time use—the fact that many women have the additional burden of caregiving, and housekeeping cuts into their leisure time and increases stress and physical exhaustion. Lastly, asset ownership, child care support, gender-based violence, and participation in community decision-making are also not captured in the GII, mainly due to limited data availability.

Suggested citation

United Nations Development Programme. 2015. "Gender Inequality Index." The Human Development Report. Retrieved from Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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