How to End Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is the extent to which people are not treated equally on the basis of their gender. It is one of the most widespread forms of discrimination in the world.

Gender equality is a big goal, and the world has been making progress toward it. Over the last few decades, most high-income countries have seen sizeable reductions in the gap between men’s and women’s wages. But even with these improvements, large gaps remain in almost all countries. And there are still significant gaps between rich and poor countries.

The reason that gaps exist is a complicated one. It’s not simply because of discrimination against women – though that’s certainly a factor. It’s also because, in most countries, men and women take on different kinds of work. Typically, women do more unpaid work such as child care and housework. And that work is often considered less “valuable” than paid work, which can contribute to the pay gap.

These differences are reflected in a variety of economic metrics such as the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, female-to-male education enrollments, and the gender ratio of parliamentarians. It’s important to keep in mind that a country’s GDP is not necessarily the best indicator of its progress towards gender equality, because it doesn’t account for all aspects of life and can be influenced by factors such as natural resources, climate change and war.

However, GDP does provide a useful proxy for overall prosperity. It is therefore a good measure to track the progress of nations in eliminating gender inequality, along with other measures such as life expectancy, per-capita income and education levels.

Achieving equality is necessary to create healthy societies. Women’s participation in the economy makes communities more stable, and it boosts growth. In addition, gender equality leads to healthier children and a better quality of life for everyone in a society. It’s also crucial for addressing social problems such as violence against women, religious intolerance, AIDS and child marriage.

While some of these issues can be addressed by specific policies, others require broader cultural changes. For example, when people feel compelled to follow rigid interpretations of religion or culture that exclude women from leadership roles, it is difficult to create a society where everyone has equal opportunities.

Luckily, there are many women around the globe who are standing up against gender inequality and proving that they have what it takes to be leaders and change makers. From stopping the practice of child marriage and female genital mutilation to putting pressure on governments to address climate change, they are showing the world that it’s time for action.

These girls, and the millions of other women and girls who want to be leaders, deserve to be free from discrimination and able to realize their full potential. That’s why the Global Gender Gap Index is urging governments and companies to commit to achieving universal gender parity by 2030. Together, we can make this happen.