A problem with the gender gap measures

The Herald reports:

New Zealand is the fifth most developed nation in the world, according to a global report that ranks countries on their achievements in health, education and income.

In the 21st annual Human Development Index, released this week by the UN Development Programme, New Zealand was said to have “very high human development” and was ranked fifth out of 187 countries, though it was placed 23rd on gender equality.

5th is pretty good. We are very fortunate in NZ.

The gender equality issue has got me thinking. I blogged last week on how we were ranked 6th in another gender index.

I had a look at the scoring on that index, and I noted how you can get a maximum score when women are equal to me at something such as No of MPs or educational achievement.

But what struck me is that if women are actually performing better than men, it doesn’t take that into account. It just looks for the gap.

Taking NZ as an example, women live longer and do far far better in education. They tend to earn less though. These studies measure the areas women do worse, but not those where they do better.

So what would be interesting to me is if these indexes measured not just the gender gap for women, but also the gender gap for men, and perhaps compared the two of them.

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