United Way of the National Capital Area is Committed to Gender Inequality
Gender inequality is the unequal treatment of men and women based on their gender. This treatment can be rooted in stereotypes, culture, or laws and has been found to negatively impact people of all ages, races, abilities, and incomes. Gender equality is essential to healthy communities and a sustainable economy. Despite progress in education, health, employment, and equal rights for all, gender inequality is a persistent and global issue that has not been fully eliminated. United Way of the National Capital Area is committed to gender equality and we want to help you understand how you can contribute to a more equitable world.
The most prevalent form of gender inequality is the wage gap. In almost every country, women make less money than men. This is often due to cultural norms that place greater value on men’s work and the assumption that men will be primary breadwinners. However, it can also be the result of discrimination or lack of equal opportunity, and has a knock-on effect on other areas of inequality, such as access to healthcare, education, and family planning.
A number of factors can affect the wages of women and men, including differences in education, experience, and skills. But a significant factor is the availability of jobs that are suitable for women. Many women are restricted in their job choices because of legal barriers, such as laws prohibiting them from heading households or pursuing certain professions. In addition, they may have limited access to childcare and parental leave, which can significantly affect their work productivity.
Another factor in the gender pay gap is the lack of adequate health care for women. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with autoimmune diseases and chronic pain conditions than men, and they are less likely to receive adequate treatment. Additionally, there is less research into gender-specific diseases and treatments.
As a result, women are more likely to experience poor health and higher mortality rates than men. This is especially true in countries with limited health infrastructure and resources. Additionally, gender inequality can be exacerbated by the effects of climate change and natural disasters, which limit access to health care, food, water, and shelter for women and children.
In addition, religious fundamentalisms and extremist ideologies can lead to a worsening of gender inequality. For example, a study by Georgetown University and Brigham Young University found that when religious fundamentalisms restrict women’s rights, women and girls suffer the most.
A number of countries have implemented a range of policies to tackle gender inequality, but a more holistic approach is needed in order to see real changes. The Human Development Report includes a gender inequality index that tracks the progress of multiple dimensions of equality, including economic status (based on female-to-male ratios of gross enrollments and labor force participation), political empowerment (based on sex quotas for parliamentary seats), and other social spheres. The gender data hub offers additional measures, country by country.