The Policy Shift Gender (IN)Equality Index: Latin America
“Ni una menos!” (Not one woman less!) The feminist rallying cry that has spread throughout Latin America began as a local movement in Argentina in June 2015. Reacting against the high mortality rate in Argentina where a woman is killed almost daily, the movement and the hashtag #niunamenos has reached thousands of women, transforming into a collective campaign across the continent. Founded by journalists, activists and artists, the campaign now includes hundreds of organizations, schools and political parties.
Within this context and rooted in the framework of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Policy Shift team aims to contribute to the work of these local activists in the fight against violence and towards gender equality by creating the Gender Policy Index of Latin America and the Caribbean. Our objective is to promote the development of innovative policies for gender equality worldwide, starting with Latin America. By providing an analysis of the current situation in this region, actors at all levels, civil society, NGOs, governments and private companies can better understand the strengths and weaknesses, gaps and advancements, for women in these countries. While much of the public debate of the Sustainable Development Goals focuses on climate action and energy transition, Policy Shift chose to highlight gender equality, in order to draw greater attention to this issue in a region of the world where women face higher rates of violence and homicide than on any other continent. It is thus a timely subject, as well as a transversal one, touching upon SDG #3 Good Health and Well being, SDG #4 Quality Education and SDG #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, in addition to SDG #5 Gender Equality.
The index addresses five overarching categories: Prevention of Violence, Health Promotion, Political Participation, Education and Business Climate. Each category is then broken down into a total of 43 different indicators that illustrate both the current situation and the laws or actions in place. The indicators range from determining the presence of protective legal rights, gender gaps, and labor and political participation. Categories are weighted differently based on research showing that basic rights must first be met, such as long term investment in health, violence prevention and education in order to encourage political and workforce participation
*Note that voluntary party commitments are not taken into account for the creation of this index
By developing our own custom methodology, this index contributes to the existing research on gender policies in several ways. To build the index, Policy Shift drew upon raw data from a variety sources which allowed us to cross reference information and integrate the widest segment of available research. In doing so, we were able to include the most recent information from different outlets to create the most up-to-date index for the region. In addition, the index was based on input from all Policy Shift members, including research, academic debate, and analysis to select and develop indicators, determine their weight, and use raw data to assign scores to develop country rankings. The factors and indicators rely on previous assessments to show the current environment for women, but our index adds to this data by focusing primarily on the performance gaps between men and women. The Policy Shift team would also like to thank the outside organizations who provided us with external feedback to help confirm and reassess our analysis.
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