Social Indicators Research

, Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 653–690 | Cite as

The Multidimensional Gender Inequalities Index (MGII): A Descriptive Analysis of Gender Inequalities Using MCA

  • Gaëlle FerrantEmail author


This paper constructs a weighted measure of the multidimensional concept of gender inequality: the Multidimensional Gender Inequality Index (MGII). Multiple Correspondence Analysis is used to rank the separate forms in which gender inequality appears in developed and developing countries respectively. Eight dimensions were identified as relevant for economic purposes: identity, physical integrity, intra-family laws, political activity, education, health, access to economic resources, and economic activity. In the 109 developing countries considered, gender inequality in the identity and family dimensions are particularly severe for women: these dimensions hence have greater weight in the MGII. However, in OECD countries gender inequality occurs mainly in the political and family dimensions. Nevertheless, the family sphere remains particularly important for gender inequality, whatever the level of development. The MGII is a non-linear weighted composite indicator of gender inequality which yields a country ranking. The South-Asian region is calculated to be the most unequal.


Composite index Gender inequality Development economics Multiple Correspondence Analysis 



I thank the participants at the ISS Gender and Development Workshop, at the CSAE Conference and at the CES Development Economics and Gender Economics Seminars. I am also grateful to OECD Development Center members, especially Somali Cerise and Johannes Jutting, and Pr. Stephan Klasen for their help. Finally, I thank Alex Michalos and two anonymous referees for their useful comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Economics StudiesUniversity of LeuvenKortrijkBelgium

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