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Child poverty, evidence and policyMainstreaming children in international development$

Nicola A. Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424464

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424464.001.0001

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(p.237) Appendix OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)

(p.237) Appendix OECD’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)

Source:
Child poverty, evidence and policy
Publisher:
Policy Press

A valuable new measure of gender equality for researchers and policymakers, also offers some indicators that are relevant for children. While the SIGI composite index includes five broad components aimed at assessing women’s status in countries around the world – civil liberties, ownership rights, physical integrity, family code and son preference – the latter three of these sub-indices are particularly applicable to children. All were given equal weight in the data presentation in the following tables.1

Africa

Rankings, which are available for over 100 non-OECD countries, indicate that gender inequality is pervasive and severe in sub-Saharan Africa. The Sudan was the least equitable country in the region, with a combined score of 0.53. Mali was not far behind, with 0.47. On the other hand, Mauritius, Botswana and South Africa scored comparatively well, under 0.08. The regional average score was not quite 0.20. (p.238)

Child-focused SIGI scores for African countries

Country

Score

Family code

Physical integrity

Son preference

Mauritius

0.01435

11th 0.04

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Botswana

0.05497

53rd 0.32

15th 0.17

1st 0.00

South Africa

0.07869

73rd 0.42

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Namibia

0.08171

58th 0.35

34th 0.26

89th 0.25

Kenya

0.09121

63rd 0.37

46th 0.28

1st 0.00

Burundi

0.09304

57th 0.34

60th 0.39

1st 0.00

Madagascar

0.0954

70th 0.41

60th 0.39

1st 0.00

Tanzania

0.10118

81st 0.50

22nd 0.20

1st 0.00

Ghana

0.10155

61st 0.37

80th 0.40

1st 0.00

Malawi

0.12555

60th 0.36

88th 0.47

1st 0.00

Senegal

0.13435

99th 0.60

45th 0.26

1st 0.00

Congo, Democratic Republic

0.13566

66th 0.39

81st 0.41

1st 0.00

Rwanda

0.1376

56th 0.33

91st 0.52

1st 0.00

Cote d’Ivoire

0.14128

79th 0.49

85th 0.43

1st 0.00

Zimbabwe

0.14377

80th 0.49

59th 0.37

1st 0.00

Swaziland

0.14514

86th 0.52

60th 0.39

1st 0.00

Lesotho

0.16621

94th 0.57

1st 0.00

Benin

0.16761

84th 0.51

87th 0.47

1st 0.00

Mauritania

0.17087

71st 0.42

103rd 0.60

1st 0.00

Angola

0.17182

89th 0.54

89th 0.25

Equatorial Guinea

0.1737

82nd 0.50

91st 0.52

1st 0.00

Nigeria

0.17487

71st 0.42

89th 0.48

89th 0.25

Congo, Rep.

0.18523

101st 0.62

1st 0.00

Togo

0.1875

96th 0.59

86th 0.44

1st 0.00

Cameroon

0.18813

89th 0.54

90th 0.48

1st 0.00

Uganda

0.19018

102nd 0.64

81st 0.41

1st 0.00

Eritrea

0.20066

76th 0.46

106th 0.69

1st 0.00

Central African Republic

0.207

92nd 0.56

101st 0.58

1st 0.00

Mozambique

0.20837

109th 0.70

60th 0.39

1st 0.00

Burkina Faso

0.20965

88th 0.54

104th 0.63

1st 0.00

Zambia

0.21231

108th 0.69

60th 0.39

1st 0.00

Niger

0.23021

104th 0.65

99th 0.52

89th 0.25

Gambia, The

0.23359

103rd 0.64

102nd 0.60

1st 0.00

Ethiopia

0.23485

55th 0.33

109th 0.77

1st 0.00

Gabon

0.23686

107th 0.68

91st 0.52

1st 0.00

Liberia

0.26893

87th 0.53

107th 0.76

1st 0.00

Guinea

0.27116

105th 0.67

105th 0.65

1st 0.00

Chad

0.28689

111th 0.79

84th 0.43

1st 0.00

Guinea-Bissau

0.30349

107th 0.76

1st 0.00

Sierra Leone

0.3359

98th 0.60

110th 0.80

1st 0.00

Somalia

0.36444

113th 0.84

1st 0.00

Mali

0.47125

112th 0.80

114th 0.97

1st 0.00

Sudan

0.52619

106th 0.68

111th 0.82

101st 0.50

The family code indicator, which includes variables that measure the percentage of adolescent girls who have ever been married, the acceptance of polygamy, women’s rights to their children and female rights of inheritance, indicates that sub-Saharan Africa has a long way to go before women enjoy the same rights as men. Mauritius, with a score of 0.04, is the only country in the region in which family law is relatively equitable. No other country scores below 0.32, most score well above 0.5, and some, Mali, Chad and Mozambique, score in excess of 0.7.

(p.239) Girls’ and women’s physical integrity is also vulnerable in most of sub-Saharan Africa. That indicator, which includes variables for FGM and violence against women and girls, ranges from 0.17 in Botswana to 0.97 in Mali, with the majority of countries clustering between 0.4 and 0.6.

Son preference ‘reflects the economic valuation of women’2 based on the number of women that are missing due to sex-selective abortion or higher female infant mortality. Few countries in the region exhibit a preference for boy children when measured in this manner, the exceptions being Namibia, Angola, Nigeria, Niger and the Sudan.

Asia

As can be seen in the following tables, it is useful to evaluate subregions independently. Overall, South Asia is a far less equitable place for women than East Asia. Average composite scores for the former are over 0.25 and for the latter do not quite reach 0.09. Of course, there is significant variation in both subregions. Afghanistan has the highest score in Asia, with nearly 0.60. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, also a Southern Asian country, has a score of not quite 0.04. The score variation in East Asia is not quite as extreme, it ranges from close to zero for the Philippines to 0.32 for China.

Child-focused SIGI scores for East Asia

Country

Score

Family code

Physical intergrity

Son preference

Philippines

0.00451

8th 0.04

3rd 0.09

1st 0.00

Thailand

0.0157

41st 0.16

15th 0.17

1st 0.00

Hong Kong, China

0.02155

26th 0.10

1st 0.00

89th 0.25

Singapore

0.02244

25th 0.10

34th 0.26

1st 0.00

Cambodia

0.03238

38th 0.14

48th 0.30

1st 0.00

Vietnam

0.04421

6th 0.03

60th 0.39

1st 0.00

Lao PDR

0.04568

51st 0.32

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Mongolia

0.0506

30th 0.12

48th 0.30

89th 0.25

Myanmar

0.06807

35th 0.14

60th 0.39

89th 0.25

Malaysia

0.07298

53rd 0.32

1st 0.00

Indonesia

0.10353

59th 0.35

79th 0.39

1st 0.00

Chinese Taipei

0.10736

3rd 0.09

101st 0.50

Korea, Democratic Republic

0.11797

91st 0.52

1st 0.00

Timor-Leste

0.12494

83rd 0.43

89th 0.25

China

0.32038

1st 0.00

48th 0.30

122nd 1.00

(p.240)

Child-focused SIGI scores for South Asia

Country

Score

Family code

Physical integrity

Son preference

Sri Lanka

0.03708

46th 0.23

15th 0.17

1st 0.00

Nepal

0.16084

62nd 0.37

48th 0.30

101st 0.50

Bangladesh

0.21125

95th 0.58

2nd 0.04

101st 0.50

Bhutan

0.21808

43rd 0.21

54th 0.35

118th 0.75

Pakistan

0.268

64th 0.38

47th 0.28

118th 0.75

India

0.31928

100th 0.61

15th 0.17

118th 0.75

Afghanistan

0.58961

110th 0.72

91st 0.52

122nd 1.00

The previously explained family code indicator shows similar ranges, from zero in China to 0.72 in Afghanistan. Overall, South Asia again compares unfavourably to East Asia and the Pacific. Led by Afghanistan and India (0.61), the region’s average sub-score is 0.44, markedly different from the 0.15 of the eastern area.

In terms of women’s physical integrity, a different pattern emerges. The subregions are nearly identical, with the eastern region actually having a slightly higher score. Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Korea tie, intra-regionally, for last place in terms of violence against women. Bangladesh has the lowest score (0.04) indicating the strength of the nation’s laws that protect women’s safety.

Son preference is a major issue for a variety of Asian countries. China and Afghanistan both score 1.0, indicating a very strong preference for sons. While a variety of countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao PDR, do not have missing girls, others, such as Papua New Guinea, Bhutan, India and Pakistan, score 0.75. Overall, son preference is stronger in Southern Asia.

Latin America

As can be seen in the following table, there is less score variation in this region than in either Asia or Africa. The range is tighter, from a low of 0.004 in Paraguay to a high of 0.08 in Haiti, as is the magnitude of actual difference. While Haiti’s score is 20 times that of Paraguay, in Africa there was a 50-fold score difference between the Sudan and Mauritius and in Asia there was an 80-fold difference between China and the Philippines. The regional average is only 0.02, indicating a high level of gender equality in terms of the indicators captured in the index.

Jamaica is the region’s shining star when it comes to the family code indicator – it ties for first place, indicating that there are no gender (p.241)

Child-focused SIGI scores for Latin America

Country

Score

Family code

Physical intergrity

Son preference

Paraguay

0.00365

19th 0.07

3rd 0.09

1st 0.00

Panama

0.00521

8th 0.11

1st 0.00

El Salvador

0.00522

17th 0.06

3rd 0.09

1st 0.00

Argentina

0.00557

13th 0.05

9th 0.13

1st 0.00

Ecuador

0.00636

24th 0.09

3rd 0.09

1st 0.00

Costa Rica

0.01043

23rd 0.08

15th 0.17

1st 0.00

Colombia

0.01179

21st 0.07

15th 0.17

1st 0.00

Bolivia

0.01446

13th 0.05

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Uruguay

0.01458

15th 0.05

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Venezuela, RB

0.01533

21st 0.07

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Peru

0.01784

15th 0.05

33rd 0.24

1st 0.00

Puerto Rico

0.02128

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Chile

0.0213

34th 0.14

23rd 0.22

1st 0.00

Cuba

0.02357

28th 0.12

34th 0.26

1st 0.00

Nicaragua

0.02619

33rd 0.13

34th 0.26

1st 0.00

Brazil

0.02765

19th 0.07

48th 0.30

1st 0.00

Dominican Republic

0.03058

28th 0.12

34th 0.26

1st 0.00

Trinidad and Tobago

0.03365

39th 0.15

15th 0.17

89th 0.25

Guatemala

0.04003

27th 0.11

54th 0.35

1st 0.00

Jamaica

0.04227

1st 0.00

54th 0.35

1st 0.00

Honduras

0.04877

44th 0.22

54th 0.35

1st 0.00

Haiti

0.08196

65th 0.38

54th 0.35

1st 0.00

Regional average

0.023

0.104

0.22

differences in how family law is applied to men and women. Haiti, at 65th place with a score of 0.38, has the lowest score in the region. The regional average is 0.104 and most countries rank in the top quartile. The physical integrity indicator, which captures violence against women, has a much higher regional average (0.22). Paraguay again has the lowest score with 0.09, and Jamaica, Honduras and Haiti tie for the highest with scores of 0.35. Data indicate no regional preference for sons, with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago, which have a score of 0.25.

As in Asia, it may be important to examine subregions, which have distinct cultures and traditions, independently. As is indicated in the following table, the data bear out this proposition. South America ranks as the most equitable and the Caribbean as the least.

(p.242)

Latin America SIGI by subregion

Subregion

Composite score

Family code

Physical integrity

South America

0.014

0.07

0.19

Central America

0.023

0.12

0.22

Caribbean

0.039

0.15

0.27

Notes:

(1) Composite scores range from zero to one – with higher scores indicating more gender inequality.