Analysis of Reconstructing Gender Empowerment Article by Jawad Syed.

Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: Analysis of Reconstructing Gender Empowerment Article by Jawad Syed. Syed infers that a Eurocentric perspective on gender empowerment dominates individuals’ understanding of the issue, despite this perspective failing to consider the complex, diverse nature of gender relations in a variety of socio-political contexts (Syed 283). He analyses underlying suppositions of the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) with the aim of validating its relevance in diverse socio-political contexts. In his description of gender empowerment, Syed describes UNDP’s use of GEM as an index of measuring gender inequality, which according to him is central to the conceptualization of the former (Syed 284). However, factors such as capitalist, elite, secular and similarity biases undermine the effectiveness of GEM as a composite index that measures gender inequality.
According to Syed, the capitalist bias results in the non-consideration of women not employed in the formal sector, which results in inconclusive results about whether or not economic power and decision-making plays an integral role in GEM’s assessment of gender inequality. He compares rich and poor countries concluding that the derivative index of the GEM fails to reflect with accuracy the income levels, as a disparity exists between relative and absolute income analyzed (Syed 285-286). Syed also examines the role of the elite bias in undermining the effectiveness of the GEM. He infers that the sample analyzed is not a true representative of the female populations, as the focus is only on women from upper class socioeconomic status with access to education and political opportunities (Syed 286). In such a case, the GEM value is high as it excludes women from impoverished backgrounds with access to leadership levels at the grassroots. Contrastingly, the secular bias results from the inability of the GEM to consider the impact of religious commitments and choices on individuals’ perception of gender related issues. Syed cites the example of faith-based traditions, which he infers place more value on the traditional family set-up characterized by the man, playing the role of the breadwinner while the women playing the role of a nurturing caretaker (Syed 287).&nbsp.&nbsp.
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