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In keeping with the SDGs’ spirit of universality to ensure that no one is ‘left behind’ by progress, our universal SDG Gender Index aims to capture a mix of gender equality issues of relevance across every country and context.

It also aims to capture a breadth of gender equality indicators, spanning every area from SRHR to GBV, and from decent work to climate change and tax and public finance.


Read Annex 5 (page 97) of EM2030’s Global Report for more information on the Index methodology (CLICK HERE)



What is unique about the Equal Measures 2030 SDG Gender Index?

  • It draws on consultations with advocates and other stakeholders at every level, and includes feedback from our focus countries and regional partners, to provide deeper national contextualization.
  • It draws on a mix of official and complementary indicators, and includes ‘inputs’ (such as laws, policies, norms and financing allocations) that affect the lives of girls and women, as well as the ‘outcomes’, such as maternal mortality rates, that are featured more commonly in most indices.
  • It highlights issues that create an enabling environment for gender equality but are not widely seen as ‘gender issues’, such as climate change and tax and public finance issues.
  • It also highlights critical policy issues for girls and women that are missing from the Index because of a lack of data or insufficient country coverage–data gaps that, with political will and coordinated action can and should be filled.


The design process for the SDG Gender Index has been guided by four principles

  • Holistic approach/comprehensiveness: going beyond existing SDG indicator efforts to look at the full range of instrumental issues that shape the lives of girls and women.
  • Parsimony: the design of the index should not be weighed down by many indicators that could limit transparency and communicability; the indicators chosen should represent the best fit for this purpose.
  • Simplicity: the design of the index should be conceptually easy to understand and the results should be easily replicated.
  • Advocate-led: the design of the Index drew on the inputs of EM2030 partners and a range of formal and informal consultations with gender advocates and gender experts

Indicator criteria used:

Theoretical coherence

  • How does the indicator align to the content of the specific SDG?
  • Does the indicator capture a unique dimension of progress towards the goal?

Data availability

  • Are recent data (in the last five years) available for 60 per cent of countries (weighted by population)? If not, will such data exist in the next three years?

Indicator properties

  • Is the calculation of the indicator transparent?
  • Can the indicator be communicated easily?


  • Is the indicator related to policy levers to achieve a specific goal?
  • Does the indicator hold stakeholders accountable?

Transformational potential

  • If the indicator is achieved, will it contribute to transformational (rather than incremental) change in the rights and opportunities of girls and women?

Universal applicability

  • Is the indicator relevant to girls and women in both developed and developing countries?


  • Is the indicator already well-covered in existing gender equality indices or does it innovate?

Changes to the approach and methodology will be considered after September 2018 from the goals, issues and indicators included, to the conceptual framework, to further elements of the design. The next iteration of the Index will incorporate these revisions and also aim to cover as many countries globally as possible.


Click on the goals to learn about its related issues, indicators and relevance to gender equality


Equal Measures 2030 Partners