Context: United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) has released the first ever Gender Social Norms Index.



    What is it?

    The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population. The index found new clues to the invisible barriers that are faced by the women in achieving equality – potentially forging a path forward to breaking through the so-called “glass ceiling”.

    Why such an Index?

    Gender disparities are a persistent form of inequality in every country. Despite remarkable progress in some areas, no country in the world—rich or poor—has achieved gender equality. All too often, women and girls are discriminated against in health, in education, at home and in the labour market—with negative repercussions for their freedoms.

    What are the key findings of the Index?

    According to the Index, despite decades of progress closing the equality gap between men and women, close to 90% of men and women hold some sort of bias against women. Almost half of those polled feel that men are superior political leaders. Approximately more than 40% believe they make better business executives and are more entitled to jobs when the economy is lagging. Moreover, 28% think it is justified for a man to beat his wife.

    The analysis also highlighted a bias shift in some 30 countries, which revealed that while some show improvements, attitudes in others appear to have worsened in recent years – signaling that progress cannot be taken for granted.

    What is the reason for such a continuous enormous “power gaps” between men and women in economies, political systems and corporations?

    Despite tangible progress in closing gender inequalities in developmental areas, such as education and health as well as in removing legal barriers to political and economic participation, there exist power gaps. This is because while men and women vote at similar rates, only 24 % of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women and there are only 10 female heads of government out of 193 Member States.

    Furthermore, women are paid less than men working the same jobs and are much less likely to be in senior positions.

    NOTE: The year 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25), the most visionary agenda on women’s empowerment to date. Few important women’s rights demonstrations: “#MeToo, #NiUnaMenos, #TimesUp. #UnVioladorEnTuCamino.

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