Causes of gender inequality

Over the years, the world has gotten closer to achieving gender equality. There is better representation of women in politics, more economic opportunities, and better healthcare in many places of the world. However, the World Economic Forum estimates it will take another century before true gender equality becomes a reality. What drives the gap between genders? Here are 10 causes of gender inequality:

#1. Uneven access to education
Around the world, women still have less access to education than men. ¼ of young women between 15-24 will not finish primary school. That group makes up 58% of the people not completing that basic education. Of all the illiterate people in the world, ⅔ are women. When girls are not educated on the same level as boys, it has a huge effect on their future and the kinds of opportunities they’ll get.

#2. Lack of employment equality
Only 6 countries in the world give women the same legal work rights as men. In fact, most economies give women only ¾ the rights of men. Studies show that if employment became a more even playing field, it has a positive domino effect on other areas prone to gender inequality.

#3. Job segregation
One of the causes for gender inequality within employment is the division of jobs. In most societies, there’s an inherent belief that men are simply better equipped to handle certain jobs. Most of the time, those are the jobs that pay the best. This discrimination results in lower income for women. Women also take on the primary responsibility for unpaid labor, so even as they participate in the paid workforce, they have extra work that never gets recognized financially.

#4. Lack of legal protections
According to research from the World Bank, over one billion women don’t have legal protection against domestic sexual violence or domestic economic violence. Both have a significant impact on women’s ability to thrive and live in freedom. In many countries, there’s also a lack of legal protections against harassment in the workplace, at school, and in public. These places become unsafe and without protection, women frequently have to make decisions that compromise and limit their goals.

#5. Lack of bodily autonomy
Many women around the world do not have authority over their own bodies or when they become parents. Accessing birth control is frequently very difficult. According to the World Health Organization, over 200 million women who don’t want to get pregnant are not using contraception. There are various reasons for this such as a lack of options, limited access, and cultural/religious opposition. On a global scale, about 40% of pregnancies are not planned and while 50% of them do end in abortion, 38% result in births. These mothers often become financially dependent on another person or the state, losing their freedom.

Categories: Social Issues

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