Considering how obvious gender inequality is, you’d think that modern society would be battling tirelessly to fight it. However, that sadly isn’t the case. Even though we’ve seen a lot of progress, the general public is still not as aware of gender inequality statistics as it should be.
Raising awareness is one of the first steps in the right direction toward a better future for everyone. Also, accepting gender equality seems to be easier for some countries than it is for others.
So, how can the undeveloped countries cope with inequality? It’s a serious issue worldwide, so let’s learn some gender inequality facts and spread the word.
Top 10 Gender Inequality Facts and Statistics Everyone Should Know
- In 2018, the World Economic Forum predicted 108 more years of gender inequality.
- The 2020 WE Forum report shows a reduction in the gender gap, which is still unlikely to be filled in 99.5 years.
- Currently, there are eight countries worldwide with completely equal economic opportunities for women and men.
- Approximately $28 trillion would be generated by closing down all socio-economic gender gaps worldwide.
- Iceland was the number one gender parity country for 11 years and running.
- Since 2017, 40 economies have introduced 62 reforms that improved gender equality.
- Over 96% of sexual trafficking involves girls and women.
- About 12 million girls under the age of 18 get married every year.
- Women have 75% of men’s legal rights, on average.
Gender Inequality in the World Statistics
1. In 2018, the World Economic Forum predicted 108 more years of gender inequality.
According to these WE Forum’s gender inequality statistics from 2018, true equality is unlikely to happen in the near future. Note that it is not global research, but it did include 106 countries, which is a large sample.
The report also states that the areas with the most significant gaps are political empowerment and the economy.
2. The 2020 WE Forum’s report shows a reduction in the gender gap, which is still unlikely to be filled in 99.5 years.
On a brighter note, the same consecutive report from the WE Forum provides us with slightly more positive gender inequality statistics for 2020. The numbers are still discouraging, but at least there’s some improvement.
Note that 153 countries were included in the report, which took four aspects of gender parity into account:
- Economic participation and opportunity
- Educational attainment
- Health and survival
- Political empowerment
Political empowerment is still the area with the most substantial gender gap.
3. About 12 million girls under the age of 18 get married every year.
Furthermore, according to WE Forum’s gender inequality statistics, around 33,000 underage girls get married every day. This means that, every two seconds, there’s a new child bride. There are around 650 million women in the world who got married before they were 18. The reasoning for these early marriages is mostly to relieve the “economic stress” from the bride’s family, as girls are inherently valued less in some cultures.
4. Women in rural Sub-Saharan countries are fetching water for over 40 billion hours every year.
This information might be slightly outdated, but such gender inequality stats are still concerning. The specific countries in which this research was done are Malawi, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
In each of these countries, women and girls are doing the heavy lifting, quite literally, at least when it comes to collecting water.
5. Women have 75% of men’s legal rights, on average.
What’s more, according to the World Bank’s statistics about gender inequality, women in North Africa and the Middle East only have 50% of the legal rights men have. Although there has been some progress worldwide in the past 50 years, it’s not enough to be considered successful.
6. Over 96% of sexual trafficking involves girls and women.
It is a genuinely demoralizing fact. In most cases, the abduction of women leads to sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking statistics are horrifying, but they need to be discussed more. About 4.8 million women have experienced sexual trafficking worldwide.
7. Approximately $28 trillion would be generated by closing down all socio-economic gender gaps worldwide.
The economic impact of gender inequality is massive, and there’s no denying it. Some things don’t have a price, though. Narrowing gender gaps in education would reap enormous benefits too.
If all girls had secondary education, there would be 66% fewer child brides worldwide. Furthermore, if every girl had primary education, there would be 70% fewer deaths during childbirth.
8. In 2016, South Korea had the highest gender gap in average hourly wages.
(Our World in Data)
Gender inequality in the workplace statistics is often discouraging. Countries like South Korea, Russia, and Switzerland are mostly considered to be developed countries. However, they were the top 3 countries with gender wage gaps.
Respectively, the wage gaps were 33.59%, 24.42%, and 17.38%. Brazil, Denmark, and France followed, with about 15%–16% lower salaries for women.
9. Men have higher average wages than women practically everywhere.
Gender inequality facts from the U.N. tell us that men are paid more in both urban and rural areas. Moreover, in rural areas, women are more likely than men to have seasonal, part-time, and low-wage jobs. And, if a woman does have the same job as a man, she is paid less.
Sometimes, women are paid less even when they work more, which they often have to due to already low wages. This can be seen in Tanzania and Benin, for example, where women work between 14 and 17.4 hours more than men every week.
Global Gender Equality Statistics
10. Currently, there are eight countries worldwide with completely equal economic opportunities for women and men.
Here’s a brief round of gender equality statistics to show that equality is more than possible. It might take some time and effort, but it’s definitely far from impossible.
The leading countries in terms of gender equality are, as follows:
11. Since 2017, 40 economies have introduced 62 reforms that improved gender equality.
The most recent gender equality stats tell us that the previously mentioned regions that struggled with gender equality in the past, are the ones that made the most improvements. Let’s name some of the economies that significantly improved in this field:
- Saudi Arabia
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
- The United Arab Emirates
12. Iceland has been the number one gender parity country for 11 years and running.
Iceland Gender equality statistics are impeccable and put most other countries to shame. Iceland is far from the largest country in the world, but it’s definitely on top of the list in terms of equality, and it sets an example for everyone.
Other notable examples include Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico, and Spain, who all improved significantly.
13. The women in Sweden gained the right to vote more than 100 years ago, in 1919.
In Sweden, gender equality statistics are also very prominent. For example, it is a very progressive country that gives both parents three months of parental leave since 2016. They also legalized birth control and abortion as early as in 1938. It could be why 93% of men and 95% of women in Sweden believe that abortion should be legal.
How common is gender inequality?
Gender inequality is embedded in every aspect of our lives. It affects education, health, economic status, political status, and many other points of society. In short, everyone is affected by gender inequality to some extent.
So, if you’re wondering how common gender inequality is, know that it exists in almost every country in the world, with a few mentioned exceptions where it is less noticeable. Everyone needs to be more aware of it so that things can get better sooner rather than later.
Where does gender inequality occur the most?
Gender inequality mostly affects economic opportunity, education, health, and political power. Even though gender inequality is present everywhere, it is the worst in the following countries:
In general, the Middle East and Africa seem to have the largest gender inequality gap in all of the mentioned essential aspects of life. Economic opportunities and literacy stand out in all of the specified countries.
It’s worth mentioning that teenage pregnancy is also widespread in Africa. For example, the number of underage pregnancies in Nigeria is more than 60 million.
What are the types of gender inequality?
Gender inequality comes in many forms, but many people associate gender inequality with economic rights, workplace inequality, etc. Most gender inequality statistics usually revolve around those categories.
However, there are many other gender inequality types:
- The disparity in freedom of speech, mobility, and expression
- The inequality in socio-economic independence, employment, property ownership, and earnings
- Unequal opportunities in regard to education
- The difference in providing mental and physical health care
- Inequality in basic survival needs and the neglect of women lives
Although it can be said that we are on our way to gender equality, it won’t come overnight. Sadly, the statistics on gender inequality seem more negative than positive, but things are improving.
Some gender gaps are still extensive, like the political and economic opportunity gaps, but overall, we’re headed in the right direction.
Did you know about these gender inequality statistics, or are you shocked by your discoveries? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below, and join the discussion.