Many people have long argued that quantitative economic measures, such as GDP, have an inherent gender bias because they often fail to capture the economic condition of women.

Fraser Institute, which publishes the internationally renowned Economic Freedom of the World, recently adjusted its index to account for gender inequality. This recognizes the fact that institutions that protect economic freedom are not always equally shared between men and women, making it more difficult—sometimes impossible—for women to enjoy the benefits of greater economic freedom in their countries.

Its new study Women and Progress: Impact of Economic Freedom and Women’s Well-Being assesses how economic freedom, adjusted for gender disparities – including freedom of movement, property rights, financial rights, freedom to work, and legal status, improves the lives of women and girls everywhere.

The most economically free countries have the lowest average difference between the gender-adjusted and unadjusted scores. A comparison of a set of development outcomes comparing women living in countries with high levels of economic freedom with those with low levels suggests that economic freedom is correlated with improved economic opportunity, health and education outcomes, and financial independence for women.

The full report is available here.




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