World: We Got This – Tackling Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is a global problem, and while much progress has been made, it’s still not enough. Across the world, gender discrimination prevents women and girls from realizing their potential and it holds back the economy. It is also a significant barrier to the fight against poverty, climate change and other threats that humanity faces.

Despite a growing awareness of the need to address this issue, many initiatives fail to make an impact. These are often based on a one size fits all approach that takes little into account of the unique experiences of different groups of women. These include women who are culturally and linguistically diverse, working-class or LGBTQI+. It is crucial to acknowledge that gender equality issues are not just economic and political, but social and cultural as well.

This is because the root causes of gender inequality are deeply entrenched in our society and culture. They are the result of social processes that perpetuate a male-dominated culture, where men are seen as dominant and superior to women. These processes are driven by powerful forces that can be challenging to overcome.

The good news is that there are ways to tackle this problem – it requires leadership, investment and comprehensive policy reforms to dismantle the systemic barriers that stand in the way of gender equality. UNICEF is working tirelessly to ensure that gender concerns are addressed in every aspect of its work – from education, health and nutrition to water, sanitation and hygiene, and social protection. It is also investing in efforts to promote girls’ empowerment and end harmful practices like child marriage and FGM.

In the latest episode of our podcast ‘WORLD: we got this’, we hear from experts in the field of gender equality and find out what can be done to break down these barriers. We also discuss how to get more people involved in making a difference.

Why does the gender gap persist despite legal, economic and political measures that should have made it impossible? My research draws on sociology, psychology and the study of social cognition – how people perceive their interactions with one another – to explain why gender differences and hierarchies continue to function and recur. The answer appears to be that gender is used as a taken-for-granted ‘common sense’ to manage interpersonal interactions and it is these everyday interactions that can create and maintain gender inequality.

This is why tackling gender inequality is everyone’s responsibility – men, women, young and old. Everyone must play their part by calling out sexism when it occurs, speaking up against it and challenging the myths that fuel it. We must stop using sexist language and putting down women when it’s not directed at us, and we all need to support programs and policies that help to achieve gender equality and build a better world for everyone. The time to act is now. Please join us.