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The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is a measure of inequalities between men's and women's opportunities in a country. It combines inequalities in three areas: political participation and decision making, economic participation and decision making, and power over economic resources. It is one of the five indicators used by the United Nations Development Programme in its annual Human Development Report.


Calculating the GEM involves several steps. First percentages for females and males are calculated in each area. The first area is the number of parliamentary seats held. The second area is measured by two sub-components: a) legislators, senior officials, and managers, and b) professional and technical positions. The third area is measured by the estimated earned income (at purchasing power parity US$).

Second, for each area, the pair of gender percentages, are combined into an Equally Distributed Equivalent Percentage (EDEP) that rewards gender equality and penalizes inequality. It is calculated as the harmonic mean of the two components. The EDEP for economic participation is the unweighted average of the EDEP for each of its sub-components. The EDEP for income is computed from gender sub-values that are indexed to a scale from 100 to 40,000 (PPP US$).

Finally, the GEM is the unweighted average of the three Equally Distributed Equivalent Percentages.

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