(Photo via publicsectorexecutive.com)

The Buenos Aires City government introduced yesterday a new gender disparity index, which provides figures in 87 different indicators in order to measure women’s “economic and physical autonomy, as well as decision-making” and attempt to accurately depict the state of all debts of the kind existing in the district. Because even though the figures show that in the past 10 years some gaps have narrowed, there is still a long way to go in most areas.

When it comes to labor figures, the index shows that 58 percent of women are considered to be economically active – meaning they either have a job or are actively looking for one – compared to 72 percent of their male counterparts. Of these people, 9.8 percent of women are unemployed, while 6.4 percent of men are. The difference widens when we take into account that more than half of the City’s residents – 54 percent – are women.

Inequality expands within the labor market, as only 2.2 percent of working women hold high-ranking positions. If we do the math (2.2 percent of 58 percent) we find out that 1.2 percent of women who are in the job market in the city fit into this category. In contrast, 3.5 percent of men in this category hold this type of position. That is 2.5 percent of all economically active men in the city – slightly more than twice as women.

The City office tasked with creating the index was overseen by the UN Women’s regional offices, while the information was organized following the guidelines established by the Gender Affairs office of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal). According to this office, which was also created by the UN, the three categories that group the different indicators are the main pillars that need to be strengthened to continue working towards gender inequality.

An area in which the gap narrowed a bit is the number of men and women who do housework: between 2005 and 2016, the percentage of men who fall under this category increased from 67.6 percent to 83. However, the amount of time they dedicate to this stayed at two hours a day, compared to the three and a half that 90.9 percent of women spend on this item.

The index describes physical autonomy as women’s ability to preserve their integrity, decide and have control over their own body, as well as access to reproductive and sexual health education, gender violence and safety in public spaces.

The category shows that even though the number of reports filed before the Supreme Court’s domestic violence office practically doubled between 2010 and 2016 – from 5,379 to 10,719 – the estimate of women who actually resort to the state in these situations does not surpass 10 percent.

Moreover, three out of every ten women suffered physical abuse from their partners at some point in their lives.