Gender equality indexes (GEIs) have become a popular tool for the quantification of unequal resource distribution between males and females. Creating such an index implies an understanding of what gender inequality is, though this question has remained the province of theoretical feminism with little explicit treatment in the methodologically focussed literature. This paper presents an empirically minded, theoretical account of gender inequality, which can be used broadly to inform the development of GEIs. The account proceeds in three steps. First, we argue for a broad understanding of the types of resources that structure gender inequality. Drawing on the work of Bourdieu, we highlight the importance of including symbolic capitals (and indeed viewing gender itself as a symbolic capital). By considering gender as a symbolic capital, we are drawn to the ways that normative maleness hides some types of gender inequality. Thus, caregiving norms and leisure time inequality are brought to the foreground. Finally, in recognizing that there is no single unifying female experience, we describe the ways that gender inequality intersect with other forms of disadvantage, motivating the incorporation of (particularly) race into the index. The result is a comprehensive—and theoretically defensible—set of indicators for the measurement of gender inequality.

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