Acronym: 
SIGI
Intergovernmental or Multilateral organization

WHAT IS SIGI ?

The OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) is a cross-country measure of discrimination against women in social institutions (formal and informal laws, social norms, and practices) across 160 countries. Discriminatory social institutions intersect across all stages of girls’ and women’s life, restricting their access to justice, rights and empowerment opportunities and undermining their agency and decision-making authority over their life choices. As underlying drivers of gender inequalities, discriminatory social institutions perpetuate gender gaps in development areas, such as education, employment and health, and hinder progress towards rights-based social transformation that benefits both women and men.

The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights. Through its 160 country profiles, country classifications and unique database, the SIGI provides a strong evidence base to more effectively address the discriminatory social institutions that hold back progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

About the SIGI

Discriminatory social institutions are defined as the formal and informal laws, attitudes and practices that restrict women’s and girls’ access to rights, justice and empowerment opportunities. These are captured in a multi-faceted approach by SIGI’s variables that combine qualitative and quantitative data, taking into account both the de jure and de facto discrimination of social institutions, through information on laws, attitudes and practices. The variables span all stages of a woman’s life in order to show how discriminatory social institutions can interlock and bind them into cycles of poverty and disempowerment.

In the 2014 edition of the SIGI, the following changes have been introduced:

• increased country coverage 

• new variables included in the Gender, Institutions and Development Database

• new classification system by levels of discrimination (see SIGI classifications).

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