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Women’s Economic Opportunity Index


The Economist Intelligence Unit

Stated Purpose: 

The purpose of the Women’s Economic Opportunity (WEO) Index is look beyond gender disparities to the underlying factors affecting women’s access to economic opportunity and measure advancements in women's economic opportunities.

Area of Governance: 
Governance and Gender
Funding Source: 

The World Bank

Current usage: 

Used in various 'The Economist' news items 

Type of data used: 

Gender-related data were collected from a wide range of trusted international sources, including the Economist Intelligence Unit;  the International Labour Organisation (ILO); the World Bank Group; the International Monetary Fund;  the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the United Nations Educational,  Scientifi c and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);  the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division; the UN Secretary General’s database on violence against women; the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Social  Security Online; the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP); the World Economic Forum; Worldwide  Governance Indicators; Freedom House; Vision of Humanity;  and national statistical offices.


Country Coverage: 128 Countries
Year Coverage: 2010 - Present (updated annually)

Contact details: 

The Economist Intelligence Unit
26 Red Lion Square 
United Kingdom
Tel: (44.20) 7576 8000
Fax: (44.20) 7576 8476


The WEO's index brings together 29 indicators measuring women's access to five areas, these are: Labour policy and practice (which comprises  two sub-categories: Labour policy and Labour practice); Access to finance; Education and training;  Women’s legal and social status; and the General business environment.

The five category scores are calculated from the unweighted mean of underlying indicators and scaled from  0-100. In each category or sub-category  features either four or five underlying indicators. The overall score is calculated from a simple average of the unweighted category and  indicator scores. That is, every indicator contributes equally to their parent category and every category  contributes equally to the overall score. This is the baseline overall score for the Women’s Economic Opportunity Index

Format of results: 

Scaled from  0-100, where 100=most favourable.

Valid Use: 

Can be used by civil society, politicians, donors and ngos to prompt improvements in policy and programmes that will  encourage women’s participation in the workplace and thus create more productive economies overall

Invalid Use: 

Does not measure the social and private conditions for access.

Example results: