Towards a gender-related index for Indigenous Australians


In the United Nations Development Programme Gender-related Development Index, Australia ranks in the top five across 179 countries, suggesting that women are achieving similar outcomes to men in life expectancy, literacy and earnings at the national level, and that the loss of human development due to gender inequality is minor. However, this does not necessarily hold true for all regions or for all population subgroups. There has been extensive research into the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous outcomes but very little of this has adopted a gender perspective. Using 2006 Census data, this paper explores the development of a similar gender-related index as a tool to enable a relative ranking of the performance of Indigenous males and females at the regional level across a set of socioeconomic outcomes at the regional level. The index will provide some insights into whether the national picture is representative of the Indigenous population and whether there are spatial variations at the Indigenous region level. For the set of indicators, the results suggest that Indigenous females are faring better than Indigenous males on a whole and at the region level. This is mainly driven by the higher proportion of Indigenous females completing Year 12 and obtaining degree or higher qualifications.

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