- When unpaid as well as paid labor is considered, women work more hours than men, a trend that begins early in life and holds true throughout the world.
- Women and girls make up 70% of the world’s poor and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population.
- Globally, women earn only 75 cents on every dollar earned by men, often for performing the same work. The U.S. is in line with the global average, and this gap has decreased by only one half of one cent over the last 40 years, despite equal pay legislation and the overall expansion of the U.S. economy.
- The countries that perform the best on nearly all indictors of gender equality are the Nordic (Scandinavian) countries. The worst performers tend to be in the Middle East, South and West Asia, and Sub Saharan Africa. U.S. progress toward women’s empowerment continues to be uneven.
- Girls who are educated have fewer children, experience better health, and have exponentially more economic opportunities. Worldwide, 63% of countries have achieved gender equality in primary school enrollment, but only 37% have gender parity at the secondary school level.
- When family subsistence farming is factored in, women grow 60-80% of the world’s food, yet typically own less than 2% of the land. Less than 10% of the world’s financial credit is extended to women.
- In countries with a modicum of democracy most women now possess the legal right to vote, yet many still lack access, education, and empowerment to exercise that right.
- The international goal for percentage of women in government positions is 30%. Only 19 of 192 countries currently meet that goal. The United States is not one of them, with women in only 15% of government positions. The highest percentage of women legislators and government officials is found in Rwanda with 40%.
- Over 500,000 women die each year from (largely preventable) complications of pregnancy or childbirth; another 18 million become disabled. Ninety-eight percent of these women are in the developing world. A pregnant woman in Niger has a 1 in 7 chance of dying; a pregnant woman in Ireland has a 1 in 47,600 chance. In the U.S., this figure is 1 in 4800.
- Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience some type of domestic violence. There is little difference between poor and rich countries on this measure.
- Only 8 countries in the world have failed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): The United States, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Qatar, Nauru, Palau, and Tonga.