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Gender Gaps in Indigenous Socioeconomic Outcomes: Australian Regional Comparisons and International Possibilities

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Author(s): Mandy Yap | Nicholas Biddle

Journal: International Indigenous Policy Journal
ISSN 1916-5781

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: gender-based analysis | Indigenous | Australia | socioeconomic | life expectancy | educational attainment | income | Human Development Index

ABSTRACT
International literature clearly demonstrates the potential for gender-based inequalities to constrain development processes. In the United Nations Development Programme Gender-related Development Index, Australia ranks in the top five across 177 countries, suggesting that the loss of human development due to gender inequality is minor. However, such analysis has not been systematically applied to the Indigenous Australian population, at least in a quantitative sense. Using the 2006 Australian Census, this paper provides an analysis across three dimensions of socioeconomic disparity: Indigeneity, gender, and geography. This paper also 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.The initial findings suggest that although there is a substantial development gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, the development loss from gender-related inequality for Indigenous Australians is relatively small. Higher life expectancy and education attainment for Indigenous females balances out their slightly lower earnings to a large extent. At the regional level, Indigenous females tend to fare better than Indigenous males for the set of indicators chosen; and, this is particularly true in capital cities.
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