Development of Females is Low Compared to Males Globally

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

United Nations has 5 key indicators to assess global Human Development Index; this index captures human development indicators male and female. Overall female development is low and has widened. Global average of female development over the last 15 years has improved by only 0.06% (from 0.66% in 2000 to 0.72% in 2015); compared to male with near equal development of 0.07% (from 0.71% in 2000 to 0.78% in 2015). The gap between male and female development has widened by 0.01% with a difference of 0.05% in 2000 to 0.06% in 2015. (Interact with the Female Development Index via this link).


Africa (Sub Saharan) remains the lowest on female development with only 0.48% in 2015. Followed by South Asia with female development at 0.58% and then Middle East & North Africa (MENA) at 0.65%. All three regions remain below global average on female development. However, there are noticeable improvements, trends over the last 15 years show highest increase in female development in East Asia & Pacific region with 0.13% increase. Followed by South Asia with 0.12% increase, Sub Saharan Africa with 0.10% increase and MENA with 0.08% increase.


Development of both male and female development is below global average for Africa (Sub Saharan), South Asia and MENA. With the exception of Latin America & Caribbean which also below global average on male development compared to other male development in other regions. Both MENA and South Asia also have the highest gap or difference between male versus female development with 0.08%. Followed by Africa (Sub Saharan) with a gap of 0.06% and East Asia with a gap of 0.04%.


Low development of females also indicates that countries are not really exercising gender responsive budgeting. Which essentially means investing in gender friendly infrastructure, education, health, legal & social protection, programs and policies impacting development of females equally. There are about only 40 countries that practice gender budgeting and most countries have low allocation of budget for gender development and do not have an effective gender responsive budgeting practice.




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