Launch of the 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index

Did you know that on average, women hold only 15% of land titles for countries where data is available in the new Social Institutions and Gender Index?

The OECD Development Centre and the United States Department of State co-hosted the launch of the updated 2012 Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) in Washington on 10 May. While conventional indicators of gender equality capture inequality in outcomes such as education and employment, the OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) focuses on the underlying drivers of these inequalities. Since SIGI was launched in 2009, the index and the role of discriminatory social institutions in undermining gender equality have gained increasing attention in the eyes of policy-makers and researchers alike. The 2012 version of the SIGI reflects changes in laws or practices, an updated conceptual framework and improved data sources for over 100 countries.

Since 2009, countries have made promising progress in tackling discriminatory social institutions in some areas. The top three countries in the 2012 SIGI are Argentina, Costa Rica and Paraguay. Top performers for each region include Argentina, the [ibimage==2539==Medium==none==self==null]Philippines, FYR of Macedonia, Nepal, Morocco and South Africa. Top-ranking countries have introduced legal equality for women in the family, equal land and property rights, measures to improve women’s access to credit, strong laws and programmes to combat violence against women and laws to promote women’s political participation at a national or sub-national level.

However, persistent social and legal discrimination continues to limit women and girls’ potential to contribute to social and economic life. In many countries, early marriage remains high, violence against women is tolerated despite strong laws and women's equal access to productive resources is still restricted. The also 2012 SIGI found that 86 out of the 121 countries scored have discriminatory inheritance practices or laws.

Find out more about the 2012 SIGI rankings, data sources and findings by region by going to our updated website: or by visiting  

You can also build your own SIGI ranking, for example by only selecting “restricted resources and entitlements”, by going to