Gender Equity Index (GEI) 2008

Table of contents

More than half the women in the world live in countries that have made no progress in gender equity in recent years. This is the main conclusion of the Social Watch 2008 Gender Equity Index (GEI) which, for the first time, shows recent evolution and trends in bridging the gap between men and women in education, the economy and empowerment.

The GEI 2008 illustrates that the greater equity levels to be found in education are not paralleled by acceptable levels in the economic field nor in the empowerment of women. Political empowerment is the area where most progress has been made in recent years as a result of active policies, yet economic equity shows disparate results, with as many countries regressing as those where there is progress. In education equity is comparatively closer, but the trend for many countries is to regress.

Difficulties in reaching equity cannot be justified by a lack of resources: the GEI mapping and that of each of its components show that – regardless of income levels – each country can reduce gender disparity through adequate policies.


The GEI has been computed for 42 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, 37 in Europe, 28 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 17 in the Middle East and North Africa, 18 in East Asia and the Pacific, 7 in Central Asia, 6 in South Asia and 2 in North America. Together these countries represent more than 94% of the world's population.


Education gap_basic data (.rtf)
Economic Activity gap_ basic data (.rtf)
Empowerment gap_ basic data (.rtf)

Download press release


Roberto Bissio 
Social Watch Coordinator
Phone: +33 621983661

Emily Joy Sikazwe
Social Watch Coordinating Committee Member 
Phone: +2601 224309 (Lusaka, Zambia)

Genoveva Tisheva
Social Watch Coordinating Committee Member 
Phone: +3592 9635357 (Sofía, Bulgaria)