Gender and development

The OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index



CLICK HERE to access the new SIGI platform

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) is a new composite measure of gender equality, based on the OECD’s Gender, Institutions and Development Database. It complements and improves existing measures in several ways. While conventional indicators of gender equality capture inequality outcomes, the SIGI focuses on the root causes behind these inequalities.

The SIGI introduces 12 innovative indicators on social institutions, which are grouped into 5 categories: Family Code, Physical Integrity, Son Preference, Civil Liberties and Ownership Rights. Each of the SIGI indicators is coded between 0, meaning no or very low inequality, and 1, indicating very high inequality. 


Results 2012

  • Launch of theupdated SIGI in May 2012 in Washington
  • Official website of the 2012 SIGI

Results 2009

The SIGI shows that many of the world’s worst performers are situated in the belt that stretches from Mali to Pakistan. In most parts of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa region, women face high discrimination in social institutions. In last place of the SIGI ranking we find Sudan, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.

click to enlarge map


Relatively low inequality can be observed in Latin America and Europe and Central Asia – the top countries here are Paraguay, Croatia and Kazakhstan. Both high and low performers can be found in the East Asia and Pacific region.

SIGI Top 5

1 - Paraguay
2 - Croatia
3 - Kazakhstan
4 - Argentina
5 - Costa Rica

SIGI Bottom 5

98 - Yemen
99- Mali
100 - Sierra Leone
101 - Afghanistan
102 - Sudan


For an overview of SIGI results and findings, please see the here.


Construction of the SIGI

The Social Institutions and Gender Index has been constructed by the OECD Development Centre, in collaboration with a research team from Göttingen University under the leadership of Prof. Stephan Klasen. Valuable input and validation of our findings were equally provided by Geske Dijkstra and her team at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The index is based on 124 detailed country notes which fed into the construction of the OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Database. Click here to find out more on the scoring of social institution variables.

Listen to an interview with Prof. Stephan Klasen, explaining the construction and some results of the Social Institutions and Gender Index.

Listen to the OECD Gender Podcast, presenting the Development Centre.


For more information on the construction of the SIGI, you can access the Background Paper as well as a short technical note on the SIGI. 



Using the SIGI

The Social Institutions and Gender Index is a valuable new measure of gender equality for researchers and policy makers. Its simple construction also make it an interesting tool for the general public interested in women's social and economic development. Here are some ways in which the SIGI can be of use to you:

  • The score and country ranking provide a quick overview of gender discrimination in social institutions, and allow to compare countries among each other
  • The SIGI Subindices help to locate areas of particular concern; for example, a country might have particular problems with the level of violence directed towards women
  • The individual indicators of social institutions offer new empirical evidence on gender discrimination, and help to understand existing gender gaps in health, education and economic participation
  • The GID country notes, which form the basis for each country’s score and ranking, provide in-depth information on the situation of women and men in regards to social institutions.
  • All GID Statistics, including the SIGI composite measure, can be accessed free of charge from the OECD website:


Accessing the Data

In order to access the data and in-depth information about the Social Institutions and Gender Index, please visit our new website: Apart from the 2009 SIGI score and ranking, you will have access to all 124 detailed country notes and further analysis using the SIGI. See you on


More Information

To contact us and find out more on the Social Institutions and Gender Index, please send an email to