Neglecting Reproductive Labor: A Critical Review of Gender Equality Indices

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Gender equality indices are increasingly influential tools used for governance and knowledge production. This article evaluates the adequacy of the seventeen existing multi-dimensional gender equality indices and shows that all but one neglect unpaid reproductive labor to varying degrees. The empirical analysis offers three lessons for these indices’ improvement. First, that it is possible to measure the gendered division of unpaid reproductive labor using gender equality indices. Second, that data availability need not compromise the coherence of the indices’ frameworks. Finally, that indices can reduce the overbearing emphasis on quantitative indicators in governance by complementing their findings with qualitative analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Politics
Early online date11 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Work and Equalities Institute


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