Deconstructing the Gender-Equality Paradox in STEM, Part II

In the previous post, I detailed some issues that could help explain in part the gender-equality STEM paradox.

Recap

These can be summarized as follows:

  1.  The Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) measures gaps not levels. It is thus a relative indicator that takes stock of the gender gap regardless of the level or depth of development.
  2. The four GGGI subindices cannot be larger than 1. Thus, the GGGI does not factor-in cases where women are ahead of men. This is related to the previous point: the aim is to measure gender gaps, not gender levels.
  3. As of 2015, UNESCO STEM data is only available for 59 of the 144 countries included in GGGI. That is, almost 60% of the states are missing in the analysis of the gender-equality STEM paradox. Many low-income and lower-middle income countries

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Deconstructing the Gender-Equality Paradox in STEM

A paper on the subject published a couple of weeks ago in the academic journal Psychological Science attracted plenty of attention thanks to some of its surprising conclusions.1 The paper is behind a paywall. Its main finding is that, contrary to all expectations, there is an inverse relation between gender equality and the number of women that graduate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Science (STEM). That is, higher gender-equality is correlated to lower female graduation rates in STEM. And vice-versa. How can this be?

In this post, I will explore the issue in more detail. First, I take a quick glance at the data used by the researchers. I then explore some of the nuances of the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) used to measure gender equality. I conclude with some possible

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Endnotes   [ + ]

1. The paper is behind a paywall.

Women, empowerment and new technologies

IWDYesterday we celebrated the International Women’s Day (IWD) for the 108th time.  The celebration  first took place in 1908 in New York CIty. Back then it was called the International Working Women’s Day (IWWD), first organized by the Socialist Party  of the US. At some point in time, the additional W dropped and the event became a celebration of all women.

Fast forward to 2015. Although significant progress has been made since, women still face many issues and challenges that must be properly addressed to achieve gender equality, One of the areas that seems to be falling behind is women’s political and policy-making participation. How can women be empowered in this regard? And what is the role of new Information and Communication Technologies here ?

We know that by the end of 2014 global

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