Women’s rights count when comparing countries on social inclusion. In its second edition of the Social Inclusion Index—launched on July 31—Americas Quarterly included women’s rights as an indicator to measure countries’ progress on access to public and private goods.
In this video explaining the Index’s new indicator, AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal talks about why measuring women’s participation in society is a crucial element to measuring the concept of social inclusion in the Americas—not least due to how important women’s rights are to economic growth. “[W]hat country can be competitive if 50 percent of potential workforce is not in the workforce?” says Segal.
Americas Quarterly analyzed five main areas to assess women’s rights: maternal mortality rates, abortion laws and degrees of permissibility of abortion, women in political power, violence against women, and the existence of public information on violence against women. Segal points that the categories used to measure women’s rights are closely linked with women remaining in the workforce and contributing to society. “[W]e can’t just look at half of the society if we want to measure social inclusion.”
Leading the ranking in the area of women’s rights are Costa Rica and the United States, followed by Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. At the bottom of the list are countries El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Guatemala.
The decision to include women’s rights affected countries’ general scores and their positioning in the survey. “Because of the inclusion of women’s rights and LGBT rights, Chile went from first to second in the region. It scored very, very poorly in both of those areas. Consequently, Uruguay went from second to one,” explains Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini in another video.
Americas Quarterly’s second Social Inclusion Index evaluates 16 countries on access to public and private goods by race/ethnicity and gender, attitudes toward empowerment and government responsiveness, and the protection of basic civil, political, and human rights.