Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Geography of Gender Inequality

Reducing gender inequality is a major policy concern worldwide, and one of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, our understanding of the magnitude and spatial distribution of gender inequality results either from limited-scale case studies or from national-level statistics. 

Here, we produce the first high resolution map of gender inequality by analyzing over 689,000 households in 47 countries. Across these countries, we find that male-headed households have, on average, 13% more asset wealth and 303% more land for agriculture than do female-headed households. However, this aggregate global result masks a high degree of spatial heterogeneity, with bands of both high inequality and high equality apparent in countries and regions of the world. Further, areas where inequality is highest when measured by land ownership generally are not the same areas that have high inequality as measured by asset wealth. 

Our metrics of gender inequality in land and wealth are not strongly correlated with existing metrics of poverty, development, and income inequality, and therefore provide new information to increase the understanding of one critical dimension of poverty across the globe.

Below:  Wealth inequality between male- and female-headed households

Below:  Land inequality between male- and female-headed households

Full article at:   http://goo.gl/Kp7cm3

Brendan Fisher 
Gund Institute, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, Aiken Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, United States of America

Brendan Fisher, Robin Naidoo 
World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC, United States of America

Robin Naidoo 
Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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