Women’s Rights Are Human Rights – A Global Progress Indicator 2022
Two decades ago, at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton famously declared that “women’s rights are human rights.” Across the globe, women continue to face barriers that prevent them from realizing these fundamental rights. Women’s groups work tirelessly to ensure that women can vote, own property, run for office, get paid fair wages and live free from violence – including domestic abuse and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation.
The fight for women’s rights is a fundamental part of the work to promote human rights and the rule of law. The Global Fund for Women is proud to support the efforts of these groups and other partners around the world.
But we must do more. The fact is, if women’s rights are not fully respected, the human rights of all citizens are at risk. Countries where women’s rights are well-respected tend to have higher levels of economic and social development, better education and health outcomes, lower poverty rates and more stable political systems. In other words, the rights of women and girls are a precursor to human rights for everyone.
According to our most recent report, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: A Global Progress Indicator 2022, countries with strong women’s rights do better in every measure of progress toward achieving human rights – including access to quality healthcare and opportunities for education. Nevertheless, the index shows that while many governments have made progress in protecting women’s rights, much more needs to be done.
Despite the fact that there is still much work to be done, most people around the world express optimism that women will ultimately have equal rights with men. In fact, a median of 75% in the 34 countries surveyed say it is likely that women will have equal rights with men in their country in the future.
In the United States, the percentage who say that women have not yet achieved equal rights with men has increased since last year – rising from 57% to 67%. This is a result of the growing concern that the government is not doing enough to protect women’s rights, particularly in areas like pay equity and sexual harassment.
The percentage who feel this way has also increased among women and Democrats, as well as those with more education. But in every demographic and partisan group, substantial shares say that it is important to have more women in positions of power, to make sure women’s rights are protected in the workplace, and to stop gender discrimination. These concerns are shared by Republicans, though they are less pronounced.