A blog post

Effects of gender equality?

Posted on the 15 January, 2013 at 10:43 pm Written by in Research

Is gender equality an important contributor to other social development?

Is gender equality associated with more well-being? Less violence?

I have created a data base with 116 units – 31 European countries, 35 other countries (a representative global sample) and 50 US states. The base includes several gender equality indexes including the Gender gap index, income level (GDP per capita) and income inequality numbers (Gini index), as well as several potential “effect” variables like violent death, suicide, well-being and fertility.

Here is a preliminary result.

This first analysis is focused on Europe and USA, where the data are best. The possible “effect” areas like violence and health are selected based on what data exist.

A preliminary result is shown below.  A thicker arrow means a stronger correlation.

Gender equality macro base main results Jan12d

All connections are positive, except the US fertility connection (at the bottom), which is negative.

These connections are partly “known” in the sense that some of them have been argued and documented in limited samples. Yet these country and  state level statistics are new.

The results indicate that gender equality has a stronger general positive effect on social development than so far acknowledged. The results show that on the country/state level, in Europe and the US, gender equality is associated with lower violence (violent death), with more gender-balanced suicide, with greater well-being, and – in Europe- with higher fertility. Gender equality is strongly positively associated with fertility in Europe, but mildly to moderately negatively associated in the US.

Men’s share of unpaid domestic work, only measured for Europe so far, is very strongly correlated with different gender equality measures, and is therefore seen as part of the cause variable, in this figure.

Most of these associations seem to persist also when exposed to some basic control variables, like income level (GDP per capita) )and income equality (Gini index).

If these results are right, gender equality is a more active agent of welfare and health development, than it is credited for. It is an important underlying factor reducing violence and increasing well-being and health.

A more comprehensive report is on its way. Remember, you saw it first here!