Human Rights Careers

7 Reasons Why Gender Equality Is Good For Everyone

Research shows that the world has a long way to go to achieve gender equality . Despite decades of progress, millions of women and girls still deal with violence and discrimination. Steps like closing the gender pay gap and promoting girls’ education make a huge difference. While most believe that gender equality is a worthy goal, why is it good for everyone? Why should it be such a high priority?

Gender equality gives everyone equal opportunities

Education is the key to equal opportunities. In today’s world, more boys than girls are educated. According to UNICEF , around 1 in 4 girls between 15-19 years old don’t have a job and are not getting an education or training. For boys, that ratio is 1 in 10. Right from the beginning, this gives boys better opportunities than girls. Without many options, girls are often forced into marriages or human trafficking . It is also much harder to leave dangerous relationships and situations without education to fall back on. When gender equality starts with education, everyone has the opportunity to improve their lives.

Gender equality is good for children

Reproductive rights are a key part of gender equality. When women make their own reproductive choices, their lives improve. They are then able to better care for the children they do choose to have. Having equal pay with men, women can provide better healthcare, better food, and better opportunities for their kids. Even if a mother chooses to stay at home with her children, the effects of gender equality (like equal pay and education) provide a safety net in case she does need to go to work. Studies also show that infant mortality rates decrease as a woman’s education level increases. In a world with gender equality, children are set up for success and happiness.

Gender equality is good for marginalized racial groups

Gender-based discrimination has a close relationship with racial discrimination. In most places, women belonging to marginalized racial groups are treated less equal than other women. The gender pay gap is a prime example. In the United States, Asian and Caucasian women earn more than Hispanic, black, and native women. White women are also more likely to get better healthcare and better job opportunities. That’s why gender equality must be intersectional. This requires an acknowledgment of different experiences, identities, and the unique discriminations women face. Striving for intersectional gender equality can help reduce racial discrimination and inequality wherever it’s found.

Gender equality is good for men

Gender equality doesn’t only benefit girls and women; it benefits men, as well. There are a few key reasons. A man who is perceived as “feminine” is not a “real man” when gender inequality exists. This leads to toxic masculinity, which is destructive and harmful to everyone. When there’s gender equality, men have more freedom about how they express themselves. This extends into the career field , as well, since no job is considered “for women only.” Men receive parental leave and family time without discrimination. Increased freedom of expression and flexible work choices leads to happiness. With gender equality, men don’t face as much pressure to fit a stereotype.

Gender equality is good for business and the economy

When girls and women get equal education and job opportunities with men, all of society benefits. Studies reveal that a diverse workplace is a more productive workplace . That diversity includes gender diversity. There’s research that shows specifically that businesses that put some women in the top leadership roles do better than businesses with only men in leadership. That success translates into the economy as a whole. Closing up gender pay gaps saves a country money. Equal education and jobs also significantly reduce poverty rates, lifting an entire nation and improving its GDP.

Gender equality fosters peace

Violence disrupts society at every level. Gender inequality is the source of a lot of violence including human trafficking and a lack of legal protections for abused women. Improving equality for girls and women can reduce the amount of violence and provide security for those who are vulnerable . Research also shows that gender equality is a better indicator of a country’s likelihood to deploy military force than its GDP. As gender equality improves, a country’s peace improves. In turn, this is important for gender equality because war disproportionately affects women.

Gender equality: it’s good for everyone

Children, women, and men benefit from gender equality. It also addresses racial discrimination and improves business and the economy. While it will be some time before gender equality is a reality around the world, we’ve made enough progress to see its benefits in action. The goal now is to keep promoting gender equality while replacing old systems based on discrimination and outdated mindsets.

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About the author, emmaline soken-huberty.

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.


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Defining Gender Equality: An Essay Exploring the Importance and Implications

Defining Gender Equality: An Essay Exploring the Importance and Implications

Much has been said and written about gender equality, and yet the topic remains relevant and urgent. In this essay, we will delve into the various aspects and implications of gender equality, dissecting its importance for both men and women in our society. It is a topic that demands our attention, as we strive for a world where everyone is treated with respect and given equal opportunities.

Gender equality is not a new concept; it has been a point of discussion for centuries. However, in recent years, it has gained momentum and taken a prominent place in public discourse. The #MeToo movement, for instance, has shed light on the abuse and harassment that women face in the workplace and beyond. It has brought attention to the inequality that exists between genders and the urgent need to address it.

One of the reasons why gender equality is so crucial is that it affects every aspect of our lives. From the workplace to the home, from social interactions to health benefits, gender equality plays a significant role in shaping our experiences. Bonnie O’Hagan, in her essay on “China’s Gender Parity Goals,” argues that achieving gender equality in China would not only have a positive effect on women’s lives but also on the country as a whole. She points out that there is a direct correlation between gender equality and economic growth.

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Gender equality, however, goes beyond just economic benefits. Natalia Phung, in her essay on “The Invisible Work of Women,” highlights the unseen work that women do in the household, such as childcare, cooking, and cleaning. This work is often taken for granted and undervalued, leading to a lack of recognition and respect for women’s contributions. Phung argues that if we want to achieve true gender equality, we need to acknowledge and value the unpaid labor that women perform.

Moreover, gender equality is not just about women; it is about achieving a balance and breaking down gender stereotypes that limit both men and women. Ryan Women, in her essay on “The Benefits of Gender Equality in Stem Careers,” asserts that by encouraging more women to pursue careers in STEM fields, we can challenge the societal norms that dictate gender roles and expectations. This, in turn, will lead to a more inclusive and diverse workforce, benefiting everyone involved.

Understanding Gender Equality

Gender equality is not about putting women above men or vice versa – it’s about creating a society where everyone has equal opportunities, rights, and treatment, regardless of their gender. It’s about breaking down the socially-constructed barriers that limit individuals based on their gender and ensuring that everyone has the chance to reach their full potential.

One of the most visible examples of gender inequality is the pay gap between men and women. On average, women still earn less than men for doing the same job. For example, Ellie McCoy, a working mother, discovered that she was being paid $10,000 less than Adam O’Hagan, her male colleague, for performing the same work. This exemplifies the discrimination and disparity that too many women face in the workplace.

Moreover, gender equality is not just about women’s rights. It also involves advocating for men’s rights and challenging stereotypes that limit both genders. For instance, Mark Chu, a stay-at-home father, faced judgment and criticism for defying traditional gender roles and choosing to take care of his children while his wife pursued her career.

Gender equality is a global issue that affects every country, regardless of its social, cultural, or economic power. Even in developed countries like the United States, where progress has been made in terms of women’s rights, there is still work to be done. Essays, discussions, and advocacy are essential in raising awareness and pushing for change.

One aspect of gender inequality that often goes unnoticed is how it affects men. For example, in many countries, men are not entitled to any paid paternity leave. This not only perpetuates the notion that men should not be actively involved in their children’s lives but also places an unfair burden on women, who are expected to bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities.

Addressing gender equality requires the active participation of governments, organizations, and individuals. Policymakers need to enact legislation that promotes gender equality, and companies need to ensure equal pay and equal opportunities for their employees. In schools, gender equality should be included in the curriculum and discussed openly to promote understanding and acceptance.

Ultimately, the goal of gender equality is to create a world where individuals are not limited or defined by their gender. It’s about building systems and societies that value and respect the contributions of everyone, regardless of their gender. By advocating for gender equality, we can create a more just and equitable world for everyone.

The Importance of Gender Equality

One of the key benefits of gender equity is the positive impact it has on the economy. When women have equal access to education and employment opportunities, they contribute significantly to the economic growth of their country. Studies have shown that closing the gender wage gap and achieving gender parity in the workforce could result in substantial economic gains.

In addition to the economic benefits, gender equality is also essential for individual well-being. When individuals are treated equally, regardless of their gender, they have better access to healthcare and are more likely to stay healthy. They also have access to quality education, which helps them make informed choices and improves their overall quality of life.

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Furthermore, gender equality is crucial for promoting social justice and creating a just society. In many countries, women still face limited opportunities, discrimination, and violence. Achieving gender equality means giving women a voice and ensuring their rights are protected.

Gender equality also plays a significant role in the workplace. It is important to create a work environment that values diversity and provides equal opportunities for both men and women. When gender equality is present in the workplace, it leads to increased productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Another important aspect is that gender equality transcends national boundaries. It is a global issue that requires international cooperation and collaboration. By working together, different countries can share knowledge, experiences, and best practices to address the challenges associated with gender inequality.

Moreover, gender equality is not only about women’s rights; it is about creating a society where everyone’s rights are respected and valued. Men also face certain gender stereotypes and expectations that can limit their choices and opportunities. Gender equality promotes a more inclusive society where individuals can express their true selves without fear of judgment or discrimination.

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The Implications of Gender Equality

Gender equality entails the empowerment of both men and women, ensuring that all genders have equal opportunities and rights in society. Achieving gender equality has numerous implications for various aspects of life, including health, education, career opportunities, and social cohesion.

Firstly, promoting gender equality has significant implications for individuals’ health. Numerous studies have shown a positive correlation between gender equality and population health outcomes. In countries where gender equality is high, individuals, regardless of their gender, have better access to healthcare and experience improved health outcomes.

Gender equality also has implications for education, with research showing that gender parity in education is directly linked to increased economic growth and productivity. When girls and women have equal opportunities to receive education, they are more likely to enter higher-paying jobs and contribute to the economy. Moreover, gender equality in education leads to more informed and engaged citizens who are better equipped to participate in the democratic process.

The implications of gender equality are also evident in the workplace. Closing the gender pay gap is crucial for achieving equality, as it ensures that individuals are paid based on their skills and not influenced by their gender. Furthermore, promoting gender equality in the workplace fosters a more inclusive and diverse environment, which has been linked to increased productivity and innovation.

Gender equality also has broader implications for society as a whole. When all genders are treated with equal respect and opportunities, it creates a more socially harmonious and cohesive community. Gender equality can help dismantle harmful socially-constructed stereotypes and norms, promoting a more inclusive and accepting society for all individuals.

Furthermore, gender equality is essential for political representation and participation. When women and other marginalized genders have equal access to political systems, their interests and concerns are more likely to be represented. Gender equality in politics also has a powerful effect on policy-making, leading to more inclusive and equitable decisions.

Equality as our Goal, Access as our Right: A Photo Essay

The first photo in this essay depicts a march advocating for women’s rights. The image captures the determination and unity of individuals who believe in the equality of all genders. By participating in such demonstrations, people express their commitment to creating a society where everyone is afforded the same opportunities.

An alarming statistic is highlighted in the next image: the percentage wage gap between men and women. This data illustrates the significant disparity in earnings between genders, which is a clear indication of the inequality that persists in the workforce. It is important to address this inequality and strive towards closing the gap.

The following photo focuses on the concept of respect. It showcases individuals from diverse backgrounds, races, and genders engaging in meaningful discussions. Respect and open dialogues are essential for fostering understanding and equality within communities, as they provide spaces for individuals to share their experiences and perspectives.

A powerful image of a woman standing up against abuse is presented next. This photo serves as a reminder of the struggles that women face and the importance of combating all forms of gender-based violence. By raising awareness and promoting societal change, we can create safer environments for everyone.

The photo essay then highlights the accomplishments and successes of women in various fields. From scientists and artists to politicians and entrepreneurs, women have made significant contributions to society. By showcasing these achievements, the essay emphasizes the need to celebrate and support women in their pursuits, regardless of the domain they choose to excel in.

The next image portrays a female employee, inspiring and empowered in her career. It serves as a reminder that women have the right to pursue fulfilling professional lives and should not be confined to traditional gender roles. Equality in the workplace requires providing women with equal opportunities for career advancement and eliminating biases and discrimination.

The essay also touches on the topic of reproductive rights and the challenges women face in balancing their personal and professional lives. The photo of a pregnant woman signifies the need for policies and support systems that enable women to have children without sacrificing their careers. It emphasizes the importance of creating an inclusive and supportive environment within society.

To further emphasize the need for equality, the photo essay shows the discrimination faced by women in poverty-stricken areas. The image showcases women who are working tirelessly to make ends meet and the barriers they encounter in accessing basic resources and opportunities. It highlights the urgent need for policies and initiatives that empower these women and ensure they are not left behind.

Throughout the essay, each photo tells a story and captures different aspects of the fight for gender equality. Whether it is through advocating for women’s rights, closing the wage gap, empowering women in their careers, or addressing the challenges faced by marginalized groups, it is clear that achieving gender equality takes collective effort and commitment.

What is the definition of gender equality?

Gender equality refers to the equal treatment and rights of individuals regardless of their gender identity or expression. It means that all individuals, regardless of their gender, are entitled to the same opportunities, resources, and treatment in all aspects of life.

Why is gender equality important?

Gender equality is important because it ensures that all individuals have equal opportunities, rights, and access to resources, regardless of their gender. It promotes fairness, social justice, and contributes to a more inclusive and progressive society.

What are some of the implications of gender inequality?

Gender inequality has numerous implications. It restricts economic growth, limits educational opportunities, and perpetuates social and cultural stereotypes. It also contributes to violence, discrimination, and marginalization of individuals based on their gender.

What are some effective strategies to promote gender equality?

Effective strategies to promote gender equality include raising awareness through education and campaigns, establishing and enforcing laws and policies that protect gender rights, promoting women’s empowerment, and encouraging equal representation and participation of women in decision-making processes.

How can individuals contribute to promoting gender equality in their everyday lives?

Individuals can contribute to promoting gender equality by challenging and questioning gender stereotypes, treating others with respect and dignity regardless of their gender, promoting equal opportunities and fairness in their personal and professional lives, and supporting organizations and initiatives that work towards gender equality.

What is gender equality?

Gender equality refers to the equal treatment and rights of men and women, where they are not discriminated against or disadvantaged based on their gender. It aims to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities, access to resources, and social and economic rights, regardless of their gender.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California , and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.

United Nations Sustainable Development Logo

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. There has been progress over the last decades, but the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. But gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress. On average, women in the labor market still earn 23 percent less than men globally and women spend about three times as many hours in unpaid domestic and care work as men.

Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public office, all remain huge barriers. All these areas of inequality have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic: there has been a surge in reports of sexual violence, women have taken on more care work due to school closures, and 70% of health and social workers globally are women.

At the current rate, it will take an estimated 300 years to end child marriage, 286 years to close gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws, 140 years for women to be represented equally in positions of power and leadership in the workplace, and 47 years to achieve equal representation in national parliaments.

Political leadership, investments and comprehensive policy reforms are needed to dismantle systemic barriers to achieving Goal 5 Gender equality is a cross-cutting objective and must be a key focus of national policies, budgets and institutions.

How much progress have we made?

International commitments to advance gender equality have brought about improvements in some areas: child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) have declined in recent years, and women’s representation in the political arena is higher than ever before. But the promise of a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality, and where all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed, remains unfulfilled. In fact, that goal is probably even more distant than before, since women and girls are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Are they any other gender-related challenges?

Yes. Worldwide, nearly half of married women lack decision-making power over their sexual and reproductive health and rights. 35 per cent of women between 15-49 years of age have experienced physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.1 in 3 girls aged 15-19 have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where the harmful practice is most common with a high risk of prolonged bleeding, infection (including HIV), childbirth complications, infertility and death.

This type of violence doesn’t just harm individual women and girls; it also undermines their overall quality of life and hinders their active involvement in society.

Why should gender equality matter to me?

Regardless of where you live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys.

What can we do?

If you are a girl, you can stay in school, help empower your female classmates to do the same and fight for your right to access sexual and reproductive health services. If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases and implicit associations that form an unintended and often an invisible barrier to equal opportunity.

If you are a man or a boy, you can work alongside women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships.

You can fund education campaigns to curb cultural practices like female genital mutilation and change harmful laws that limit the rights of women and girls and prevent them from achieving their full potential.

The Spotlight Initiative is an EU/UN partnership, and a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls – the world’s largest targeted effort to end all forms of violence against women and girls.

benefits of gender equality essay

Facts and figures

Goal 5 targets.

  • With only seven years remaining, a mere 15.4 per cent of Goal 5 indicators with data are “on track”, 61.5 per cent are at a moderate distance and 23.1 per cent are far or very far off track from 2030 targets.
  • In many areas, progress has been too slow. At the current rate, it will take an estimated 300 years to end child marriage, 286 years to close gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws, 140 years for women to be represented equally in positions of power and leadership in the workplace, and 47 years to achieve equal representation in national parliaments.
  • Political leadership, investments and comprehensive policy reforms are needed to dismantle systemic barriers to achieving Goal 5. Gender equality is a cross-cutting objective and must be a key focus of national policies, budgets and institutions.
  • Around 2.4 billion women of working age are not afforded equal economic opportunity. Nearly 2.4 Billion Women Globally Don’t Have Same Economic Rights as Men  
  • 178 countries maintain legal barriers that prevent women’s full economic participation. Nearly 2.4 Billion Women Globally Don’t Have Same Economic Rights as Men
  • In 2019, one in five women, aged 20-24 years, were married before the age of 18. Girls | UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

Source: The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023

5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

5.A  Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

5.B Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

5.C Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

He for She campaign

United Secretary-General Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women

Every Woman Every Child Initiative

Spotlight Initiative

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

UN Population Fund: Gender equality

UN Population Fund: Female genital mutilation

UN Population Fund: Child marriage

UN Population Fund: Engaging men & boys

UN Population Fund: Gender-based violence

World Health Organization (WHO)

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Gender Statistics

Fast Facts: Gender Equality

benefits of gender equality essay

Infographic: Gender Equality

benefits of gender equality essay

The Initiative is so named as it brings focused attention to this issue, moving it into the spotlight and placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

An initial investment in the order of EUR 500 million will be made, with the EU as the main contributor. Other donors and partners will be invited to join the Initiative to broaden its reach and scope. The modality for the delivery will be a UN multi- stakeholder trust fund, administered by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, with the support of core agencies UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women, and overseen by the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General.

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Twenty years of gender equality research: A scoping review based on a new semantic indicator

Paola belingheri.

1 Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Energia, dei Sistemi, del Territorio e delle Costruzioni, Università degli Studi di Pisa, Largo L. Lazzarino, Pisa, Italy

Filippo Chiarello

Andrea fronzetti colladon.

2 Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

3 Department of Management, Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland

Paola Rovelli

4 Faculty of Economics and Management, Centre for Family Business Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

Associated Data

All relevant data are within the manuscript and its supporting information files. The only exception is the text of the abstracts (over 15,000) that we have downloaded from Scopus. These abstracts can be retrieved from Scopus, but we do not have permission to redistribute them.

Gender equality is a major problem that places women at a disadvantage thereby stymieing economic growth and societal advancement. In the last two decades, extensive research has been conducted on gender related issues, studying both their antecedents and consequences. However, existing literature reviews fail to provide a comprehensive and clear picture of what has been studied so far, which could guide scholars in their future research. Our paper offers a scoping review of a large portion of the research that has been published over the last 22 years, on gender equality and related issues, with a specific focus on business and economics studies. Combining innovative methods drawn from both network analysis and text mining, we provide a synthesis of 15,465 scientific articles. We identify 27 main research topics, we measure their relevance from a semantic point of view and the relationships among them, highlighting the importance of each topic in the overall gender discourse. We find that prominent research topics mostly relate to women in the workforce–e.g., concerning compensation, role, education, decision-making and career progression. However, some of them are losing momentum, and some other research trends–for example related to female entrepreneurship, leadership and participation in the board of directors–are on the rise. Besides introducing a novel methodology to review broad literature streams, our paper offers a map of the main gender-research trends and presents the most popular and the emerging themes, as well as their intersections, outlining important avenues for future research.


The persistent gender inequalities that currently exist across the developed and developing world are receiving increasing attention from economists, policymakers, and the general public [e.g., 1 – 3 ]. Economic studies have indicated that women’s education and entry into the workforce contributes to social and economic well-being [e.g., 4 , 5 ], while their exclusion from the labor market and from managerial positions has an impact on overall labor productivity and income per capita [ 6 , 7 ]. The United Nations selected gender equality, with an emphasis on female education, as part of the Millennium Development Goals [ 8 ], and gender equality at-large as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030 [ 9 ]. These latter objectives involve not only developing nations, but rather all countries, to achieve economic, social and environmental well-being.

As is the case with many SDGs, gender equality is still far from being achieved and persists across education, access to opportunities, or presence in decision-making positions [ 7 , 10 , 11 ]. As we enter the last decade for the SDGs’ implementation, and while we are battling a global health pandemic, effective and efficient action becomes paramount to reach this ambitious goal.

Scholars have dedicated a massive effort towards understanding gender equality, its determinants, its consequences for women and society, and the appropriate actions and policies to advance women’s equality. Many topics have been covered, ranging from women’s education and human capital [ 12 , 13 ] and their role in society [e.g., 14 , 15 ], to their appointment in firms’ top ranked positions [e.g., 16 , 17 ] and performance implications [e.g., 18 , 19 ]. Despite some attempts, extant literature reviews provide a narrow view on these issues, restricted to specific topics–e.g., female students’ presence in STEM fields [ 20 ], educational gender inequality [ 5 ], the gender pay gap [ 21 ], the glass ceiling effect [ 22 ], leadership [ 23 ], entrepreneurship [ 24 ], women’s presence on the board of directors [ 25 , 26 ], diversity management [ 27 ], gender stereotypes in advertisement [ 28 ], or specific professions [ 29 ]. A comprehensive view on gender-related research, taking stock of key findings and under-studied topics is thus lacking.

Extant literature has also highlighted that gender issues, and their economic and social ramifications, are complex topics that involve a large number of possible antecedents and outcomes [ 7 ]. Indeed, gender equality actions are most effective when implemented in unison with other SDGs (e.g., with SDG 8, see [ 30 ]) in a synergetic perspective [ 10 ]. Many bodies of literature (e.g., business, economics, development studies, sociology and psychology) approach the problem of achieving gender equality from different perspectives–often addressing specific and narrow aspects. This sometimes leads to a lack of clarity about how different issues, circumstances, and solutions may be related in precipitating or mitigating gender inequality or its effects. As the number of papers grows at an increasing pace, this issue is exacerbated and there is a need to step back and survey the body of gender equality literature as a whole. There is also a need to examine synergies between different topics and approaches, as well as gaps in our understanding of how different problems and solutions work together. Considering the important topic of women’s economic and social empowerment, this paper aims to fill this gap by answering the following research question: what are the most relevant findings in the literature on gender equality and how do they relate to each other ?

To do so, we conduct a scoping review [ 31 ], providing a synthesis of 15,465 articles dealing with gender equity related issues published in the last twenty-two years, covering both the periods of the MDGs and the SDGs (i.e., 2000 to mid 2021) in all the journals indexed in the Academic Journal Guide’s 2018 ranking of business and economics journals. Given the huge amount of research conducted on the topic, we adopt an innovative methodology, which relies on social network analysis and text mining. These techniques are increasingly adopted when surveying large bodies of text. Recently, they were applied to perform analysis of online gender communication differences [ 32 ] and gender behaviors in online technology communities [ 33 ], to identify and classify sexual harassment instances in academia [ 34 ], and to evaluate the gender inclusivity of disaster management policies [ 35 ].

Applied to the title, abstracts and keywords of the articles in our sample, this methodology allows us to identify a set of 27 recurrent topics within which we automatically classify the papers. Introducing additional novelty, by means of the Semantic Brand Score (SBS) indicator [ 36 ] and the SBS BI app [ 37 ], we assess the importance of each topic in the overall gender equality discourse and its relationships with the other topics, as well as trends over time, with a more accurate description than that offered by traditional literature reviews relying solely on the number of papers presented in each topic.

This methodology, applied to gender equality research spanning the past twenty-two years, enables two key contributions. First, we extract the main message that each document is conveying and how this is connected to other themes in literature, providing a rich picture of the topics that are at the center of the discourse, as well as of the emerging topics. Second, by examining the semantic relationship between topics and how tightly their discourses are linked, we can identify the key relationships and connections between different topics. This semi-automatic methodology is also highly reproducible with minimum effort.

This literature review is organized as follows. In the next section, we present how we selected relevant papers and how we analyzed them through text mining and social network analysis. We then illustrate the importance of 27 selected research topics, measured by means of the SBS indicator. In the results section, we present an overview of the literature based on the SBS results–followed by an in-depth narrative analysis of the top 10 topics (i.e., those with the highest SBS) and their connections. Subsequently, we highlight a series of under-studied connections between the topics where there is potential for future research. Through this analysis, we build a map of the main gender-research trends in the last twenty-two years–presenting the most popular themes. We conclude by highlighting key areas on which research should focused in the future.

Our aim is to map a broad topic, gender equality research, that has been approached through a host of different angles and through different disciplines. Scoping reviews are the most appropriate as they provide the freedom to map different themes and identify literature gaps, thereby guiding the recommendation of new research agendas [ 38 ].

Several practical approaches have been proposed to identify and assess the underlying topics of a specific field using big data [ 39 – 41 ], but many of them fail without proper paper retrieval and text preprocessing. This is specifically true for a research field such as the gender-related one, which comprises the work of scholars from different backgrounds. In this section, we illustrate a novel approach for the analysis of scientific (gender-related) papers that relies on methods and tools of social network analysis and text mining. Our procedure has four main steps: (1) data collection, (2) text preprocessing, (3) keywords extraction and classification, and (4) evaluation of semantic importance and image.

Data collection

In this study, we analyze 22 years of literature on gender-related research. Following established practice for scoping reviews [ 42 ], our data collection consisted of two main steps, which we summarize here below.

Firstly, we retrieved from the Scopus database all the articles written in English that contained the term “gender” in their title, abstract or keywords and were published in a journal listed in the Academic Journal Guide 2018 ranking of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) ( ), considering the time period from Jan 2000 to May 2021. We used this information considering that abstracts, titles and keywords represent the most informative part of a paper, while using the full-text would increase the signal-to-noise ratio for information extraction. Indeed, these textual elements already demonstrated to be reliable sources of information for the task of domain lexicon extraction [ 43 , 44 ]. We chose Scopus as source of literature because of its popularity, its update rate, and because it offers an API to ease the querying process. Indeed, while it does not allow to retrieve the full text of scientific articles, the Scopus API offers access to titles, abstracts, citation information and metadata for all its indexed scholarly journals. Moreover, we decided to focus on the journals listed in the AJG 2018 ranking because we were interested in reviewing business and economics related gender studies only. The AJG is indeed widely used by universities and business schools as a reference point for journal and research rigor and quality. This first step, executed in June 2021, returned more than 55,000 papers.

In the second step–because a look at the papers showed very sparse results, many of which were not in line with the topic of this literature review (e.g., papers dealing with health care or medical issues, where the word gender indicates the gender of the patients)–we applied further inclusion criteria to make the sample more focused on the topic of this literature review (i.e., women’s gender equality issues). Specifically, we only retained those papers mentioning, in their title and/or abstract, both gender-related keywords (e.g., daughter, female, mother) and keywords referring to bias and equality issues (e.g., equality, bias, diversity, inclusion). After text pre-processing (see next section), keywords were first identified from a frequency-weighted list of words found in the titles, abstracts and keywords in the initial list of papers, extracted through text mining (following the same approach as [ 43 ]). They were selected by two of the co-authors independently, following respectively a bottom up and a top-down approach. The bottom-up approach consisted of examining the words found in the frequency-weighted list and classifying those related to gender and equality. The top-down approach consisted in searching in the word list for notable gender and equality-related words. Table 1 reports the sets of keywords we considered, together with some examples of words that were used to search for their presence in the dataset (a full list is provided in the S1 Text ). At end of this second step, we obtained a final sample of 15,465 relevant papers.

Text processing and keyword extraction

Text preprocessing aims at structuring text into a form that can be analyzed by statistical models. In the present section, we describe the preprocessing steps we applied to paper titles and abstracts, which, as explained below, partially follow a standard text preprocessing pipeline [ 45 ]. These activities have been performed using the R package udpipe [ 46 ].

The first step is n-gram extraction (i.e., a sequence of words from a given text sample) to identify which n-grams are important in the analysis, since domain-specific lexicons are often composed by bi-grams and tri-grams [ 47 ]. Multi-word extraction is usually implemented with statistics and linguistic rules, thus using the statistical properties of n-grams or machine learning approaches [ 48 ]. However, for the present paper, we used Scopus metadata in order to have a more effective and efficient n-grams collection approach [ 49 ]. We used the keywords of each paper in order to tag n-grams with their associated keywords automatically. Using this greedy approach, it was possible to collect all the keywords listed by the authors of the papers. From this list, we extracted only keywords composed by two, three and four words, we removed all the acronyms and rare keywords (i.e., appearing in less than 1% of papers), and we clustered keywords showing a high orthographic similarity–measured using a Levenshtein distance [ 50 ] lower than 2, considering these groups of keywords as representing same concepts, but expressed with different spelling. After tagging the n-grams in the abstracts, we followed a common data preparation pipeline that consists of the following steps: (i) tokenization, that splits the text into tokens (i.e., single words and previously tagged multi-words); (ii) removal of stop-words (i.e. those words that add little meaning to the text, usually being very common and short functional words–such as “and”, “or”, or “of”); (iii) parts-of-speech tagging, that is providing information concerning the morphological role of a word and its morphosyntactic context (e.g., if the token is a determiner, the next token is a noun or an adjective with very high confidence, [ 51 ]); and (iv) lemmatization, which consists in substituting each word with its dictionary form (or lemma). The output of the latter step allows grouping together the inflected forms of a word. For example, the verbs “am”, “are”, and “is” have the shared lemma “be”, or the nouns “cat” and “cats” both share the lemma “cat”. We preferred lemmatization over stemming [ 52 ] in order to obtain more interpretable results.

In addition, we identified a further set of keywords (with respect to those listed in the “keywords” field) by applying a series of automatic words unification and removal steps, as suggested in past research [ 53 , 54 ]. We removed: sparse terms (i.e., occurring in less than 0.1% of all documents), common terms (i.e., occurring in more than 10% of all documents) and retained only nouns and adjectives. It is relevant to notice that no document was lost due to these steps. We then used the TF-IDF function [ 55 ] to produce a new list of keywords. We additionally tested other approaches for the identification and clustering of keywords–such as TextRank [ 56 ] or Latent Dirichlet Allocation [ 57 ]–without obtaining more informative results.

Classification of research topics

To guide the literature analysis, two experts met regularly to examine the sample of collected papers and to identify the main topics and trends in gender research. Initially, they conducted brainstorming sessions on the topics they expected to find, due to their knowledge of the literature. This led to an initial list of topics. Subsequently, the experts worked independently, also supported by the keywords in paper titles and abstracts extracted with the procedure described above.

Considering all this information, each expert identified and clustered relevant keywords into topics. At the end of the process, the two assignments were compared and exhibited a 92% agreement. Another meeting was held to discuss discordant cases and reach a consensus. This resulted in a list of 27 topics, briefly introduced in Table 2 and subsequently detailed in the following sections.

Evaluation of semantic importance

Working on the lemmatized corpus of the 15,465 papers included in our sample, we proceeded with the evaluation of semantic importance trends for each topic and with the analysis of their connections and prevalent textual associations. To this aim, we used the Semantic Brand Score indicator [ 36 ], calculated through the SBS BI webapp [ 37 ] that also produced a brand image report for each topic. For this study we relied on the computing resources of the ENEA/CRESCO infrastructure [ 58 ].

The Semantic Brand Score (SBS) is a measure of semantic importance that combines methods of social network analysis and text mining. It is usually applied for the analysis of (big) textual data to evaluate the importance of one or more brands, names, words, or sets of keywords [ 36 ]. Indeed, the concept of “brand” is intended in a flexible way and goes beyond products or commercial brands. In this study, we evaluate the SBS time-trends of the keywords defining the research topics discussed in the previous section. Semantic importance comprises the three dimensions of topic prevalence, diversity and connectivity. Prevalence measures how frequently a research topic is used in the discourse. The more a topic is mentioned by scientific articles, the more the research community will be aware of it, with possible increase of future studies; this construct is partly related to that of brand awareness [ 59 ]. This effect is even stronger, considering that we are analyzing the title, abstract and keywords of the papers, i.e. the parts that have the highest visibility. A very important characteristic of the SBS is that it considers the relationships among words in a text. Topic importance is not just a matter of how frequently a topic is mentioned, but also of the associations a topic has in the text. Specifically, texts are transformed into networks of co-occurring words, and relationships are studied through social network analysis [ 60 ]. This step is necessary to calculate the other two dimensions of our semantic importance indicator. Accordingly, a social network of words is generated for each time period considered in the analysis–i.e., a graph made of n nodes (words) and E edges weighted by co-occurrence frequency, with W being the set of edge weights. The keywords representing each topic were clustered into single nodes.

The construct of diversity relates to that of brand image [ 59 ], in the sense that it considers the richness and distinctiveness of textual (topic) associations. Considering the above-mentioned networks, we calculated diversity using the distinctiveness centrality metric–as in the formula presented by Fronzetti Colladon and Naldi [ 61 ].

Lastly, connectivity was measured as the weighted betweenness centrality [ 62 , 63 ] of each research topic node. We used the formula presented by Wasserman and Faust [ 60 ]. The dimension of connectivity represents the “brokerage power” of each research topic–i.e., how much it can serve as a bridge to connect other terms (and ultimately topics) in the discourse [ 36 ].

The SBS is the final composite indicator obtained by summing the standardized scores of prevalence, diversity and connectivity. Standardization was carried out considering all the words in the corpus, for each specific timeframe.

This methodology, applied to a large and heterogeneous body of text, enables to automatically identify two important sets of information that add value to the literature review. Firstly, the relevance of each topic in literature is measured through a composite indicator of semantic importance, rather than simply looking at word frequencies. This provides a much richer picture of the topics that are at the center of the discourse, as well as of the topics that are emerging in the literature. Secondly, it enables to examine the extent of the semantic relationship between topics, looking at how tightly their discourses are linked. In a field such as gender equality, where many topics are closely linked to each other and present overlaps in issues and solutions, this methodology offers a novel perspective with respect to traditional literature reviews. In addition, it ensures reproducibility over time and the possibility to semi-automatically update the analysis, as new papers become available.

Overview of main topics

In terms of descriptive textual statistics, our corpus is made of 15,465 text documents, consisting of a total of 2,685,893 lemmatized tokens (words) and 32,279 types. As a result, the type-token ratio is 1.2%. The number of hapaxes is 12,141, with a hapax-token ratio of 37.61%.

Fig 1 shows the list of 27 topics by decreasing SBS. The most researched topic is compensation , exceeding all others in prevalence, diversity, and connectivity. This means it is not only mentioned more often than other topics, but it is also connected to a greater number of other topics and is central to the discourse on gender equality. The next four topics are, in order of SBS, role , education , decision-making , and career progression . These topics, except for education , all concern women in the workforce. Between these first five topics and the following ones there is a clear drop in SBS scores. In particular, the topics that follow have a lower connectivity than the first five. They are hiring , performance , behavior , organization , and human capital . Again, except for behavior and human capital , the other three topics are purely related to women in the workforce. After another drop-off, the following topics deal prevalently with women in society. This trend highlights that research on gender in business journals has so far mainly paid attention to the conditions that women experience in business contexts, while also devoting some attention to women in society.

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Fig 2 shows the SBS time series of the top 10 topics. While there has been a general increase in the number of Scopus-indexed publications in the last decade, we notice that some SBS trends remain steady, or even decrease. In particular, we observe that the main topic of the last twenty-two years, compensation , is losing momentum. Since 2016, it has been surpassed by decision-making , education and role , which may indicate that literature is increasingly attempting to identify root causes of compensation inequalities. Moreover, in the last two years, the topics of hiring , performance , and organization are experiencing the largest importance increase.

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Fig 3 shows the SBS time trends of the remaining 17 topics (i.e., those not in the top 10). As we can see from the graph, there are some that maintain a steady trend–such as reputation , management , networks and governance , which also seem to have little importance. More relevant topics with average stationary trends (except for the last two years) are culture , family , and parenting . The feminine topic is among the most important here, and one of those that exhibit the larger variations over time (similarly to leadership ). On the other hand, the are some topics that, even if not among the most important, show increasing SBS trends; therefore, they could be considered as emerging topics and could become popular in the near future. These are entrepreneurship , leadership , board of directors , and sustainability . These emerging topics are also interesting to anticipate future trends in gender equality research that are conducive to overall equality in society.

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In addition to the SBS score of the different topics, the network of terms they are associated to enables to gauge the extent to which their images (textual associations) overlap or differ ( Fig 4 ).

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There is a central cluster of topics with high similarity, which are all connected with women in the workforce. The cluster includes topics such as organization , decision-making , performance , hiring , human capital , education and compensation . In addition, the topic of well-being is found within this cluster, suggesting that women’s equality in the workforce is associated to well-being considerations. The emerging topics of entrepreneurship and leadership are also closely connected with each other, possibly implying that leadership is a much-researched quality in female entrepreneurship. Topics that are relatively more distant include personality , politics , feminine , empowerment , management , board of directors , reputation , governance , parenting , masculine and network .

The following sections describe the top 10 topics and their main associations in literature (see Table 3 ), while providing a brief overview of the emerging topics.


The topic of compensation is related to the topics of role , hiring , education and career progression , however, also sees a very high association with the words gap and inequality . Indeed, a well-known debate in degrowth economics centers around whether and how to adequately compensate women for their childbearing, childrearing, caregiver and household work [e.g., 30 ].

Even in paid work, women continue being offered lower compensations than their male counterparts who have the same job or cover the same role [ 64 – 67 ]. This severe inequality has been widely studied by scholars over the last twenty-two years. Dealing with this topic, some specific roles have been addressed. Specifically, research highlighted differences in compensation between female and male CEOs [e.g., 68 ], top executives [e.g., 69 ], and boards’ directors [e.g., 70 ]. Scholars investigated the determinants of these gaps, such as the gender composition of the board [e.g., 71 – 73 ] or women’s individual characteristics [e.g., 71 , 74 ].

Among these individual characteristics, education plays a relevant role [ 75 ]. Education is indeed presented as the solution for women, not only to achieve top executive roles, but also to reduce wage inequality [e.g., 76 , 77 ]. Past research has highlighted education influences on gender wage gaps, specifically referring to gender differences in skills [e.g., 78 ], college majors [e.g., 79 ], and college selectivity [e.g., 80 ].

Finally, the wage gap issue is strictly interrelated with hiring –e.g., looking at whether being a mother affects hiring and compensation [e.g., 65 , 81 ] or relating compensation to unemployment [e.g., 82 ]–and career progression –for instance looking at meritocracy [ 83 , 84 ] or the characteristics of the boss for whom women work [e.g., 85 ].

The roles covered by women have been deeply investigated. Scholars have focused on the role of women in their families and the society as a whole [e.g., 14 , 15 ], and, more widely, in business contexts [e.g., 18 , 81 ]. Indeed, despite still lagging behind their male counterparts [e.g., 86 , 87 ], in the last decade there has been an increase in top ranked positions achieved by women [e.g., 88 , 89 ]. Following this phenomenon, scholars have posed greater attention towards the presence of women in the board of directors [e.g., 16 , 18 , 90 , 91 ], given the increasing pressure to appoint female directors that firms, especially listed ones, have experienced. Other scholars have focused on the presence of women covering the role of CEO [e.g., 17 , 92 ] or being part of the top management team [e.g., 93 ]. Irrespectively of the level of analysis, all these studies tried to uncover the antecedents of women’s presence among top managers [e.g., 92 , 94 ] and the consequences of having a them involved in the firm’s decision-making –e.g., on performance [e.g., 19 , 95 , 96 ], risk [e.g., 97 , 98 ], and corporate social responsibility [e.g., 99 , 100 ].

Besides studying the difficulties and discriminations faced by women in getting a job [ 81 , 101 ], and, more specifically in the hiring , appointment, or career progression to these apical roles [e.g., 70 , 83 ], the majority of research of women’s roles dealt with compensation issues. Specifically, scholars highlight the pay-gap that still exists between women and men, both in general [e.g., 64 , 65 ], as well as referring to boards’ directors [e.g., 70 , 102 ], CEOs and executives [e.g., 69 , 103 , 104 ].

Finally, other scholars focused on the behavior of women when dealing with business. In this sense, particular attention has been paid to leadership and entrepreneurial behaviors. The former quite overlaps with dealing with the roles mentioned above, but also includes aspects such as leaders being stereotyped as masculine [e.g., 105 ], the need for greater exposure to female leaders to reduce biases [e.g., 106 ], or female leaders acting as queen bees [e.g., 107 ]. Regarding entrepreneurship , scholars mainly investigated women’s entrepreneurial entry [e.g., 108 , 109 ], differences between female and male entrepreneurs in the evaluations and funding received from investors [e.g., 110 , 111 ], and their performance gap [e.g., 112 , 113 ].

Education has long been recognized as key to social advancement and economic stability [ 114 ], for job progression and also a barrier to gender equality, especially in STEM-related fields. Research on education and gender equality is mostly linked with the topics of compensation , human capital , career progression , hiring , parenting and decision-making .

Education contributes to a higher human capital [ 115 ] and constitutes an investment on the part of women towards their future. In this context, literature points to the gender gap in educational attainment, and the consequences for women from a social, economic, personal and professional standpoint. Women are found to have less access to formal education and information, especially in emerging countries, which in turn may cause them to lose social and economic opportunities [e.g., 12 , 116 – 119 ]. Education in local and rural communities is also paramount to communicate the benefits of female empowerment , contributing to overall societal well-being [e.g., 120 ].

Once women access education, the image they have of the world and their place in society (i.e., habitus) affects their education performance [ 13 ] and is passed on to their children. These situations reinforce gender stereotypes, which become self-fulfilling prophecies that may negatively affect female students’ performance by lowering their confidence and heightening their anxiety [ 121 , 122 ]. Besides formal education, also the information that women are exposed to on a daily basis contributes to their human capital . Digital inequalities, for instance, stems from men spending more time online and acquiring higher digital skills than women [ 123 ].

Education is also a factor that should boost employability of candidates and thus hiring , career progression and compensation , however the relationship between these factors is not straightforward [ 115 ]. First, educational choices ( decision-making ) are influenced by variables such as self-efficacy and the presence of barriers, irrespectively of the career opportunities they offer, especially in STEM [ 124 ]. This brings additional difficulties to women’s enrollment and persistence in scientific and technical fields of study due to stereotypes and biases [ 125 , 126 ]. Moreover, access to education does not automatically translate into job opportunities for women and minority groups [ 127 , 128 ] or into female access to managerial positions [ 129 ].

Finally, parenting is reported as an antecedent of education [e.g., 130 ], with much of the literature focusing on the role of parents’ education on the opportunities afforded to children to enroll in education [ 131 – 134 ] and the role of parenting in their offspring’s perception of study fields and attitudes towards learning [ 135 – 138 ]. Parental education is also a predictor of the other related topics, namely human capital and compensation [ 139 ].


This literature mainly points to the fact that women are thought to make decisions differently than men. Women have indeed different priorities, such as they care more about people’s well-being, working with people or helping others, rather than maximizing their personal (or their firm’s) gain [ 140 ]. In other words, women typically present more communal than agentic behaviors, which are instead more frequent among men [ 141 ]. These different attitude, behavior and preferences in turn affect the decisions they make [e.g., 142 ] and the decision-making of the firm in which they work [e.g., 143 ].

At the individual level, gender affects, for instance, career aspirations [e.g., 144 ] and choices [e.g., 142 , 145 ], or the decision of creating a venture [e.g., 108 , 109 , 146 ]. Moreover, in everyday life, women and men make different decisions regarding partners [e.g., 147 ], childcare [e.g., 148 ], education [e.g., 149 ], attention to the environment [e.g., 150 ] and politics [e.g., 151 ].

At the firm level, scholars highlighted, for example, how the presence of women in the board affects corporate decisions [e.g., 152 , 153 ], that female CEOs are more conservative in accounting decisions [e.g., 154 ], or that female CFOs tend to make more conservative decisions regarding the firm’s financial reporting [e.g., 155 ]. Nevertheless, firm level research also investigated decisions that, influenced by gender bias, affect women, such as those pertaining hiring [e.g., 156 , 157 ], compensation [e.g., 73 , 158 ], or the empowerment of women once appointed [ 159 ].

Career progression

Once women have entered the workforce, the key aspect to achieve gender equality becomes career progression , including efforts toward overcoming the glass ceiling. Indeed, according to the SBS analysis, career progression is highly related to words such as work, social issues and equality. The topic with which it has the highest semantic overlap is role , followed by decision-making , hiring , education , compensation , leadership , human capital , and family .

Career progression implies an advancement in the hierarchical ladder of the firm, assigning managerial roles to women. Coherently, much of the literature has focused on identifying rationales for a greater female participation in the top management team and board of directors [e.g., 95 ] as well as the best criteria to ensure that the decision-makers promote the most valuable employees irrespectively of their individual characteristics, such as gender [e.g., 84 ]. The link between career progression , role and compensation is often provided in practice by performance appraisal exercises, frequently rooted in a culture of meritocracy that guides bonuses, salary increases and promotions. However, performance appraisals can actually mask gender-biased decisions where women are held to higher standards than their male colleagues [e.g., 83 , 84 , 95 , 160 , 161 ]. Women often have less opportunities to gain leadership experience and are less visible than their male colleagues, which constitute barriers to career advancement [e.g., 162 ]. Therefore, transparency and accountability, together with procedures that discourage discretionary choices, are paramount to achieve a fair career progression [e.g., 84 ], together with the relaxation of strict job boundaries in favor of cross-functional and self-directed tasks [e.g., 163 ].

In addition, a series of stereotypes about the type of leadership characteristics that are required for top management positions, which fit better with typical male and agentic attributes, are another key barrier to career advancement for women [e.g., 92 , 160 ].

Hiring is the entrance gateway for women into the workforce. Therefore, it is related to other workforce topics such as compensation , role , career progression , decision-making , human capital , performance , organization and education .

A first stream of literature focuses on the process leading up to candidates’ job applications, demonstrating that bias exists before positions are even opened, and it is perpetuated both by men and women through networking and gatekeeping practices [e.g., 164 , 165 ].

The hiring process itself is also subject to biases [ 166 ], for example gender-congruity bias that leads to men being preferred candidates in male-dominated sectors [e.g., 167 ], women being hired in positions with higher risk of failure [e.g., 168 ] and limited transparency and accountability afforded by written processes and procedures [e.g., 164 ] that all contribute to ascriptive inequality. In addition, providing incentives for evaluators to hire women may actually work to this end; however, this is not the case when supporting female candidates endangers higher-ranking male ones [ 169 ].

Another interesting perspective, instead, looks at top management teams’ composition and the effects on hiring practices, indicating that firms with more women in top management are less likely to lay off staff [e.g., 152 ].


Several scholars posed their attention towards women’s performance, its consequences [e.g., 170 , 171 ] and the implications of having women in decision-making positions [e.g., 18 , 19 ].

At the individual level, research focused on differences in educational and academic performance between women and men, especially referring to the gender gap in STEM fields [e.g., 171 ]. The presence of stereotype threats–that is the expectation that the members of a social group (e.g., women) “must deal with the possibility of being judged or treated stereotypically, or of doing something that would confirm the stereotype” [ 172 ]–affects women’s interested in STEM [e.g., 173 ], as well as their cognitive ability tests, penalizing them [e.g., 174 ]. A stronger gender identification enhances this gap [e.g., 175 ], whereas mentoring and role models can be used as solutions to this problem [e.g., 121 ]. Despite the negative effect of stereotype threats on girls’ performance [ 176 ], female and male students perform equally in mathematics and related subjects [e.g., 177 ]. Moreover, while individuals’ performance at school and university generally affects their achievements and the field in which they end up working, evidence reveals that performance in math or other scientific subjects does not explain why fewer women enter STEM working fields; rather this gap depends on other aspects, such as culture, past working experiences, or self-efficacy [e.g., 170 ]. Finally, scholars have highlighted the penalization that women face for their positive performance, for instance when they succeed in traditionally male areas [e.g., 178 ]. This penalization is explained by the violation of gender-stereotypic prescriptions [e.g., 179 , 180 ], that is having women well performing in agentic areas, which are typical associated to men. Performance penalization can thus be overcome by clearly conveying communal characteristics and behaviors [ 178 ].

Evidence has been provided on how the involvement of women in boards of directors and decision-making positions affects firms’ performance. Nevertheless, results are mixed, with some studies showing positive effects on financial [ 19 , 181 , 182 ] and corporate social performance [ 99 , 182 , 183 ]. Other studies maintain a negative association [e.g., 18 ], and other again mixed [e.g., 184 ] or non-significant association [e.g., 185 ]. Also with respect to the presence of a female CEO, mixed results emerged so far, with some researches demonstrating a positive effect on firm’s performance [e.g., 96 , 186 ], while other obtaining only a limited evidence of this relationship [e.g., 103 ] or a negative one [e.g., 187 ].

Finally, some studies have investigated whether and how women’s performance affects their hiring [e.g., 101 ] and career progression [e.g., 83 , 160 ]. For instance, academic performance leads to different returns in hiring for women and men. Specifically, high-achieving men are called back significantly more often than high-achieving women, which are penalized when they have a major in mathematics; this result depends on employers’ gendered standards for applicants [e.g., 101 ]. Once appointed, performance ratings are more strongly related to promotions for women than men, and promoted women typically show higher past performance ratings than those of promoted men. This suggesting that women are subject to stricter standards for promotion [e.g., 160 ].

Behavioral aspects related to gender follow two main streams of literature. The first examines female personality and behavior in the workplace, and their alignment with cultural expectations or stereotypes [e.g., 188 ] as well as their impacts on equality. There is a common bias that depicts women as less agentic than males. Certain characteristics, such as those more congruent with male behaviors–e.g., self-promotion [e.g., 189 ], negotiation skills [e.g., 190 ] and general agentic behavior [e.g., 191 ]–, are less accepted in women. However, characteristics such as individualism in women have been found to promote greater gender equality in society [ 192 ]. In addition, behaviors such as display of emotions [e.g., 193 ], which are stereotypically female, work against women’s acceptance in the workplace, requiring women to carefully moderate their behavior to avoid exclusion. A counter-intuitive result is that women and minorities, which are more marginalized in the workplace, tend to be better problem-solvers in innovation competitions due to their different knowledge bases [ 194 ].

The other side of the coin is examined in a parallel literature stream on behavior towards women in the workplace. As a result of biases, prejudices and stereotypes, women may experience adverse behavior from their colleagues, such as incivility and harassment, which undermine their well-being [e.g., 195 , 196 ]. Biases that go beyond gender, such as for overweight people, are also more strongly applied to women [ 197 ].


The role of women and gender bias in organizations has been studied from different perspectives, which mirror those presented in detail in the following sections. Specifically, most research highlighted the stereotypical view of leaders [e.g., 105 ] and the roles played by women within firms, for instance referring to presence in the board of directors [e.g., 18 , 90 , 91 ], appointment as CEOs [e.g., 16 ], or top executives [e.g., 93 ].

Scholars have investigated antecedents and consequences of the presence of women in these apical roles. On the one side they looked at hiring and career progression [e.g., 83 , 92 , 160 , 168 , 198 ], finding women typically disadvantaged with respect to their male counterparts. On the other side, they studied women’s leadership styles and influence on the firm’s decision-making [e.g., 152 , 154 , 155 , 199 ], with implications for performance [e.g., 18 , 19 , 96 ].

Human capital

Human capital is a transverse topic that touches upon many different aspects of female gender equality. As such, it has the most associations with other topics, starting with education as mentioned above, with career-related topics such as role , decision-making , hiring , career progression , performance , compensation , leadership and organization . Another topic with which there is a close connection is behavior . In general, human capital is approached both from the education standpoint but also from the perspective of social capital.

The behavioral aspect in human capital comprises research related to gender differences for example in cultural and religious beliefs that influence women’s attitudes and perceptions towards STEM subjects [ 142 , 200 – 202 ], towards employment [ 203 ] or towards environmental issues [ 150 , 204 ]. These cultural differences also emerge in the context of globalization which may accelerate gender equality in the workforce [ 205 , 206 ]. Gender differences also appear in behaviors such as motivation [ 207 ], and in negotiation [ 190 ], and have repercussions on women’s decision-making related to their careers. The so-called gender equality paradox sees women in countries with lower gender equality more likely to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields, whereas the gap in STEM enrollment widens as countries achieve greater equality in society [ 171 ].

Career progression is modeled by literature as a choice-process where personal preferences, culture and decision-making affect the chosen path and the outcomes. Some literature highlights how women tend to self-select into different professions than men, often due to stereotypes rather than actual ability to perform in these professions [ 142 , 144 ]. These stereotypes also affect the perceptions of female performance or the amount of human capital required to equal male performance [ 110 , 193 , 208 ], particularly for mothers [ 81 ]. It is therefore often assumed that women are better suited to less visible and less leadership -oriented roles [ 209 ]. Women also express differing preferences towards work-family balance, which affect whether and how they pursue human capital gains [ 210 ], and ultimately their career progression and salary .

On the other hand, men are often unaware of gendered processes and behaviors that they carry forward in their interactions and decision-making [ 211 , 212 ]. Therefore, initiatives aimed at increasing managers’ human capital –by raising awareness of gender disparities in their organizations and engaging them in diversity promotion–are essential steps to counter gender bias and segregation [ 213 ].

Emerging topics: Leadership and entrepreneurship

Among the emerging topics, the most pervasive one is women reaching leadership positions in the workforce and in society. This is still a rare occurrence for two main types of factors, on the one hand, bias and discrimination make it harder for women to access leadership positions [e.g., 214 – 216 ], on the other hand, the competitive nature and high pressure associated with leadership positions, coupled with the lack of women currently represented, reduce women’s desire to achieve them [e.g., 209 , 217 ]. Women are more effective leaders when they have access to education, resources and a diverse environment with representation [e.g., 218 , 219 ].

One sector where there is potential for women to carve out a leadership role is entrepreneurship . Although at the start of the millennium the discourse on entrepreneurship was found to be “discriminatory, gender-biased, ethnocentrically determined and ideologically controlled” [ 220 ], an increasing body of literature is studying how to stimulate female entrepreneurship as an alternative pathway to wealth, leadership and empowerment [e.g., 221 ]. Many barriers exist for women to access entrepreneurship, including the institutional and legal environment, social and cultural factors, access to knowledge and resources, and individual behavior [e.g., 222 , 223 ]. Education has been found to raise women’s entrepreneurial intentions [e.g., 224 ], although this effect is smaller than for men [e.g., 109 ]. In addition, increasing self-efficacy and risk-taking behavior constitute important success factors [e.g., 225 ].

Finally, the topic of sustainability is worth mentioning, as it is the primary objective of the SDGs and is closely associated with societal well-being. As society grapples with the effects of climate change and increasing depletion of natural resources, a narrative has emerged on women and their greater link to the environment [ 226 ]. Studies in developed countries have found some support for women leaders’ attention to sustainability issues in firms [e.g., 227 – 229 ], and smaller resource consumption by women [ 230 ]. At the same time, women will likely be more affected by the consequences of climate change [e.g., 230 ] but often lack the decision-making power to influence local decision-making on resource management and environmental policies [e.g., 231 ].

Research gaps and conclusions

Research on gender equality has advanced rapidly in the past decades, with a steady increase in publications, both in mainstream topics related to women in education and the workforce, and in emerging topics. Through a novel approach combining methods of text mining and social network analysis, we examined a comprehensive body of literature comprising 15,465 papers published between 2000 and mid 2021 on topics related to gender equality. We identified a set of 27 topics addressed by the literature and examined their connections.

At the highest level of abstraction, it is worth noting that papers abound on the identification of issues related to gender inequalities and imbalances in the workforce and in society. Literature has thoroughly examined the (unconscious) biases, barriers, stereotypes, and discriminatory behaviors that women are facing as a result of their gender. Instead, there are much fewer papers that discuss or demonstrate effective solutions to overcome gender bias [e.g., 121 , 143 , 145 , 163 , 194 , 213 , 232 ]. This is partly due to the relative ease in studying the status quo, as opposed to studying changes in the status quo. However, we observed a shift in the more recent years towards solution seeking in this domain, which we strongly encourage future researchers to focus on. In the future, we may focus on collecting and mapping pro-active contributions to gender studies, using additional Natural Language Processing techniques, able to measure the sentiment of scientific papers [ 43 ].

All of the mainstream topics identified in our literature review are closely related, and there is a wealth of insights looking at the intersection between issues such as education and career progression or human capital and role . However, emerging topics are worthy of being furtherly explored. It would be interesting to see more work on the topic of female entrepreneurship , exploring aspects such as education , personality , governance , management and leadership . For instance, how can education support female entrepreneurship? How can self-efficacy and risk-taking behaviors be taught or enhanced? What are the differences in managerial and governance styles of female entrepreneurs? Which personality traits are associated with successful entrepreneurs? Which traits are preferred by venture capitalists and funding bodies?

The emerging topic of sustainability also deserves further attention, as our society struggles with climate change and its consequences. It would be interesting to see more research on the intersection between sustainability and entrepreneurship , looking at how female entrepreneurs are tackling sustainability issues, examining both their business models and their company governance . In addition, scholars are suggested to dig deeper into the relationship between family values and behaviors.

Moreover, it would be relevant to understand how women’s networks (social capital), or the composition and structure of social networks involving both women and men, enable them to increase their remuneration and reach top corporate positions, participate in key decision-making bodies, and have a voice in communities. Furthermore, the achievement of gender equality might significantly change firm networks and ecosystems, with important implications for their performance and survival.

Similarly, research at the nexus of (corporate) governance , career progression , compensation and female empowerment could yield useful insights–for example discussing how enterprises, institutions and countries are managed and the impact for women and other minorities. Are there specific governance structures that favor diversity and inclusion?

Lastly, we foresee an emerging stream of research pertaining how the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged women, especially in the workforce, by making gender biases more evident.

For our analysis, we considered a set of 15,465 articles downloaded from the Scopus database (which is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature). As we were interested in reviewing business and economics related gender studies, we only considered those papers published in journals listed in the Academic Journal Guide (AJG) 2018 ranking of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). All the journals listed in this ranking are also indexed by Scopus. Therefore, looking at a single database (i.e., Scopus) should not be considered a limitation of our study. However, future research could consider different databases and inclusion criteria.

With our literature review, we offer researchers a comprehensive map of major gender-related research trends over the past twenty-two years. This can serve as a lens to look to the future, contributing to the achievement of SDG5. Researchers may use our study as a starting point to identify key themes addressed in the literature. In addition, our methodological approach–based on the use of the Semantic Brand Score and its webapp–could support scholars interested in reviewing other areas of research.

Supporting information


The computing resources and the related technical support used for this work have been provided by CRESCO/ENEAGRID High Performance Computing infrastructure and its staff. CRESCO/ENEAGRID High Performance Computing infrastructure is funded by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development and by Italian and European research programmes (see for information).

Funding Statement

P.B and F.C.: Grant of the Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Construction of the University of Pisa (DESTEC) for the project “Measuring Gender Bias with Semantic Analysis: The Development of an Assessment Tool and its Application in the European Space Industry. P.B., F.C., A.F.C., P.R.: Grant of the Italian Association of Management Engineering (AiIG), “Misure di sostegno ai soci giovani AiIG” 2020, for the project “Gender Equality Through Data Intelligence (GEDI)”. F.C.: EU project ASSETs+ Project (Alliance for Strategic Skills addressing Emerging Technologies in Defence) EAC/A03/2018 - Erasmus+ programme, Sector Skills Alliances, Lot 3: Sector Skills Alliance for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills G.A. NUMBER: 612678-EPP-1-2019-1-IT-EPPKA2-SSA-B.

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A global story

This piece is part of 19A: The Brookings Gender Equality Series . In this essay series, Brookings scholars, public officials, and other subject-area experts examine the current state of gender equality 100 years after the 19th Amendment was adopted to the U.S. Constitution and propose recommendations to cull the prevalence of gender-based discrimination in the United States and around the world.

The year 2020 will stand out in the history books. It will always be remembered as the year the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the globe and brought death, illness, isolation, and economic hardship. It will also be noted as the year when the death of George Floyd and the words “I can’t breathe” ignited in the United States and many other parts of the world a period of reckoning with racism, inequality, and the unresolved burdens of history.

The history books will also record that 2020 marked 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment in America, intended to guarantee a vote for all women, not denied or abridged on the basis of sex.

This is an important milestone and the continuing movement for gender equality owes much to the history of suffrage and the brave women (and men) who fought for a fairer world. Yet just celebrating what was achieved is not enough when we have so much more to do. Instead, this anniversary should be a galvanizing moment when we better inform ourselves about the past and emerge more determined to achieve a future of gender equality.

Australia’s role in the suffrage movement

In looking back, one thing that should strike us is how international the movement for suffrage was though the era was so much less globalized than our own.

For example, how many Americans know that 25 years before the passing of the 19th Amendment in America, my home of South Australia was one of the first polities in the world to give men and women the same rights to participate in their democracies? South Australia led Australia and became a global leader in legislating universal suffrage and candidate eligibility over 125 years ago.

This extraordinary achievement was not an easy one. There were three unsuccessful attempts to gain equal voting rights for women in South Australia, in the face of relentless opposition. But South Australia’s suffragists—including the Women’s Suffrage League and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, as well as remarkable women like Catherine Helen Spence, Mary Lee, and Elizabeth Webb Nicholls—did not get dispirited but instead continued to campaign, persuade, and cajole. They gathered a petition of 11,600 signatures, stuck it together page by page so that it measured around 400 feet in length, and presented it to Parliament.

The Constitutional Amendment (Adult Suffrage) Bill was finally introduced on July 4, 1894, leading to heated debate both within the houses of Parliament, and outside in society and the media. Demonstrating that some things in Parliament never change, campaigner Mary Lee observed as the bill proceeded to committee stage “that those who had the least to say took the longest time to say it.” 1

The Bill finally passed on December 18, 1894, by 31 votes to 14 in front of a large crowd of women.

In 1897, Catherine Helen Spence became the first woman to stand as a political candidate in South Australia.

South Australia’s victory led the way for the rest of the colonies, in the process of coming together to create a federated Australia, to fight for voting rights for women across the entire nation. Women’s suffrage was in effect made a precondition to federation in 1901, with South Australia insisting on retaining the progress that had already been made. 2 South Australian Muriel Matters, and Vida Goldstein—a woman from the Australian state of Victoria—are just two of the many who fought to ensure that when Australia became a nation, the right of women to vote and stand for Parliament was included.

Australia’s remarkable progressiveness was either envied, or feared, by the rest of the world. Sociologists and journalists traveled to Australia to see if the worst fears of the critics of suffrage would be realised.

In 1902, Vida Goldstein was invited to meet President Theodore Roosevelt—the first Australian to ever meet a U.S. president in the White House. With more political rights than any American woman, Goldstein was a fascinating visitor. In fact, President Roosevelt told Goldstein: “I’ve got my eye on you down in Australia.” 3

Goldstein embarked on many other journeys around the world in the name of suffrage, and ran five times for Parliament, emphasising “the necessity of women putting women into Parliament to secure the reforms they required.” 4

Muriel Matters went on to join the suffrage movement in the United Kingdom. In 1908 she became the first woman to speak in the British House of Commons in London—not by invitation, but by chaining herself to the grille that obscured women’s views of proceedings in the Houses of Parliament. After effectively cutting her off the grille, she was dragged out of the gallery by force, still shouting and advocating for votes for women. The U.K. finally adopted women’s suffrage in 1928.

These Australian women, and the many more who tirelessly fought for women’s rights, are still extraordinary by today’s standards, but were all the more remarkable for leading the rest of the world.

A shared history of exclusion

Of course, no history of women’s suffrage is complete without acknowledging those who were excluded. These early movements for gender equality were overwhelmingly the remit of privileged white women. Racially discriminatory exclusivity during the early days of suffrage is a legacy Australia shares with the United States.

South Australian Aboriginal women were given the right to vote under the colonial laws of 1894, but they were often not informed of this right or supported to enroll—and sometimes were actively discouraged from participating.

They were later further discriminated against by direct legal bar by the 1902 Commonwealth Franchise Act, whereby Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were excluded from voting in federal elections—a right not given until 1962.

Any celebration of women’s suffrage must acknowledge such past injustices front and center. Australia is not alone in the world in grappling with a history of discrimination and exclusion.

The best historical celebrations do not present a triumphalist version of the past or convey a sense that the fight for equality is finished. By reflecting on our full history, these celebrations allow us to come together, find new energy, and be inspired to take the cause forward in a more inclusive way.

The way forward

In the century or more since winning women’s franchise around the world, we have made great strides toward gender equality for women in parliamentary politics. Targets and quotas are working. In Australia, we already have evidence that affirmative action targets change the diversity of governments. Since the Australian Labor Party (ALP) passed its first affirmative action resolution in 1994, the party has seen the number of women in its national parliamentary team skyrocket from around 14% to 50% in recent years.

Instead of trying to “fix” women—whether by training or otherwise—the ALP worked on fixing the structures that prevent women getting preselected, elected, and having fair opportunities to be leaders.

There is also clear evidence of the benefits of having more women in leadership roles. A recent report from Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) at King’s College London, shows that where women are able to exercise political leadership, it benefits not just women and girls, but the whole of society.

But even though we know how to get more women into parliament and the positive difference they make, progress toward equality is far too slow. The World Economic Forum tells us that if we keep progressing as we are, the global political empowerment gender gap—measuring the presence of women across Parliament, ministries, and heads of states across the world— will only close in another 95 years . This is simply too long to wait and, unfortunately, not all barriers are diminishing. The level of abuse and threatening language leveled at high-profile women in the public domain and on social media is a more recent but now ubiquitous problem, which is both alarming and unacceptable.

Across the world, we must dismantle the continuing legal and social barriers that prevent women fully participating in economic, political, and community life.

Education continues to be one such barrier in many nations. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. With COVID-19-related school closures happening in developing countries, there is a real risk that progress on girls’ education is lost. When Ebola hit, the evidence shows that the most marginalized girls never made it back to school and rates of child marriage, teen pregnancy. and child labor soared. The Global Partnership for Education, which I chair, is currently hard at work trying to ensure that this history does not repeat.

Ensuring educational equality is a necessary but not sufficient condition for gender equality. In order to change the landscape to remove the barriers that prevent women coming through for leadership—and having their leadership fairly evaluated rather than through the prism of gender—we need a radical shift in structures and away from stereotypes. Good intentions will not be enough to achieve the profound wave of change required. We need hard-headed empirical research about what works. In my life and writings post-politics and through my work at the GIWL, sharing and generating this evidence is front and center of the work I do now.

GIWL work, undertaken in partnership with IPSOS Mori, demonstrates that the public knows more needs to be done. For example, this global polling shows the community thinks it is harder for women to get ahead. Specifically, they say men are less likely than women to need intelligence and hard work to get ahead in their careers.

Other research demonstrates that the myth of the “ideal worker,” one who works excessive hours, is damaging for women’s careers. We also know from research that even in families where each adult works full time, domestic and caring labor is disproportionately done by women. 5

In order to change the landscape to remove the barriers that prevent women coming through for leadership—and having their leadership fairly evaluated rather than through the prism of gender—we need a radical shift in structures and away from stereotypes.

Other more subtle barriers, like unconscious bias and cultural stereotypes, continue to hold women back. We need to start implementing policies that prevent people from being marginalized and stop interpreting overconfidence or charisma as indicative of leadership potential. The evidence shows that it is possible for organizations to adjust their definitions and methods of identifying merit so they can spot, measure, understand, and support different leadership styles.

Taking the lessons learned from our shared history and the lives of the extraordinary women across the world, we know evidence needs to be combined with activism to truly move forward toward a fairer world. We are in a battle for both hearts and minds.

Why this year matters

We are also at an inflection point. Will 2020 will be remembered as the year that a global recession disproportionately destroyed women’s jobs, while women who form the majority of the workforce in health care and social services were at risk of contracting the coronavirus? Will it be remembered as a time of escalating domestic violence and corporations cutting back on their investments in diversity programs?

Or is there a more positive vision of the future that we can seize through concerted advocacy and action? A future where societies re-evaluate which work truly matters and determine to better reward carers. A time when men and women forced into lockdowns re-negotiated how they approach the division of domestic labor. Will the pandemic be viewed as the crisis that, through forcing new ways of virtual working, ultimately led to more balance between employment and family life, and career advancement based on merit and outcomes, not presentism and the old boys’ network?

This history is not yet written. We still have an opportunity to make it happen. Surely the women who led the way 100 years ago can inspire us to seize this moment and create that better, more gender equal future.

  • December 7,1894: Welcome home meeting for Catherine Helen Spence at the Café de Paris. [ Register , Dec, 19, 1894 ]
  • Clare Wright, You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World , (Text Publishing, 2018).
  • Janette M. Bomford, That Dangerous and Persuasive Woman, (Melbourne University Press, 1993)
  • Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences, (Icon Books, 2010)

This piece is part of 19A: The Brookings Gender Equality Series.  Learn more about the series and read published work »

About the Author

Julia gillard, distinguished fellow – global economy and development, center for universal education.

Gillard is a distinguished fellow with the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. She is the Inaugural Chair of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London. Gillard also serves as Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, which is dedicated to expanding access to quality education worldwide and is patron of CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education.

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The Benefits of Promoting Gender Diversity in Leadership

Emerging women leaders and senior leaders alike have an important role to play in ensuring the promotion of women from entry-level through the C-suite.

Mary Sharp Emerson

The key to achieving gender diversity at all levels of an organization is to ensure the success of women leaders in the earliest stages of their management career.

The corporate world has made progress improving gender diversity and bringing an increasing number of women into leadership roles at the executive and C-suite level. As of McKinsey’s 2018  Women in the Workplace  report, women comprise 19 percent of executive leadership positions. 

Despite this small step toward gender diversity in the C-suite, women of color continue to face significant barriers to entry into leadership roles. According to the same McKinsey report, women of color represent only 4 percent of C-suite positions. And as of a 2019  Harvard Business Review  study, there were no black women leading a Fortune 500 company.

Moreover, gender parity for all women remains elusive at lower and middle management, specifically within entry- and mid-level leadership roles. According to the most recent McKinsey data , women make up 48 percent of all entry-level hires but only 38 percent of first-level managers. 

What difference does that 10 percent make? 

A big one. Over the next five years, 1 million women will remain in entry-level or non-leadership roles while their male co-workers are promoted into more promising career paths. 

That long-term talent gap caused by the failure to promote women into entry- and mid-level management roles virtually guarantees that there will be a lack of qualified women for executive and C-suite leadership roles in the future. McKinsey refers to this talent gap as the “broken rung”  on the leadership ladder.

Closing that long-term talent gap will have long-term benefits for organizational success .

But doing so requires more than simply pointing out unconscious bias, identifying hidden stereotypes and common microaggressions, and paying lip service to gender and racial equality. 

Instead, it requires a prolonged and multi-faceted commitment by both men and women leaders to identify the obstacles facing women in leadership roles, especially for women of color.  

Here are some actionable tools and strategies to help women leaders achieve success at the same rate as their male peers.

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Senior Leaders Must Show the Way Toward Gender Diversity

The success of emerging women leaders depends heavily on the mid-level and senior managers (still predominantly white men) who are primarily responsible for their promotion. 

Thus, mid-level and senior leaders have an active role to play in ensuring that emerging women have the same opportunities for advancement, promotion, and career growth as their male co-workers.

Establish clear job performance evaluation criteria

According to  Women in the Workplace 2018 , women are less likely to get credit for successes and more likely to take criticism for failures. They often must provide more evidence of their competence and are more likely to have their judgement and decisions questioned.

These subtle barriers are even more common for women of color than for their white counterparts. For instance, women of color are significantly more likely than their white counterparts to be mistaken for someone in a more junior role. According to the  HBR , nearly 50 percent of black and Latina scientists report being mistaken for administrative or janitorial staff.

Ensuring that women are fairly evaluated compared to their male counterparts through the hiring and promotion process requires clear and unbiased evaluation criteria. Moreover, employees must have the opportunity to highlight bias and identify stereotypes when encountered. 

Analyze corporate HR data by gender AND by race

While many companies track pay and other HR data by gender or by race, very few track by both. Yet according to a recent  Payscale  study, women of color make less even than white women at the beginning of their careers, a trend which only widens throughout their careers. 

Tracking critical HR data by a full suite of metrics, including both gender and race, will highlight potentially hidden disparities and help ensure that women of color, in particular, do not “fall through the cracks” between gender and race. 

Actively prepare women for leadership roles

As with men, women are more likely to be promoted if they are actively coached on career advancement. Senior leaders must ensure that emerging women leaders are given the same opportunities as their male counterparts to showcase their abilities, stretch their roles, network with senior leaders, and promote their visibility at the executive level.

Develop nuanced strategies for sponsorship

Women tend to be over-mentored and under-sponsored. Many organizations have moved away from formal sponsorship programs because senior leaders can be wary of expending political capital on employees they may not be sure of 100 percent.

Mentorship versus sponsorship need not be an either-or proposition, however. 

As noted in a  2019 report  in Harvard Business Review, sponsorship, when done thoughtfully and strategically, can — and should — evolve authentically through a range of professional “support” roles.  

Discover the value of diverse leadership styles

Understanding the various ways in which men and women work, communicate, and lead is a critical step in promoting and achieving gender parity. Incorporating and encouraging those differences provides strength and flexibility to an organization’s leadership, and that diversity of thought can promote organizational success.

Be willing to engage in honest discussions of gender and racial bias

Enabling honest discussions about gender bias can be difficult for many managers. Adding factors of race into that discussion can make a difficult discussion feel impossible. 

Yet because women of color continue to experience specific microaggressions and hidden stereotypes at a rate greater than their white counterparts, diversity training programs must be designed to take an  “intersectional approach”  that incorporates open discussions of racial as well as gender bias in the workplace.

Make Gender Diversity an Essential Corporate Goal

Unfortunately, upward of  20 percent  of employees continue to feel that their organization’s commitment to gender diversity is little more than window dressing, while their commitment to promoting the leadership capabilities of women of color is practically nonexistent. 

For example, 41 percent of companies have specific targets for women leadership in senior and executive roles. However,  less than a third  have those same goals for gender parity at the level of emerging leaders. And corporate-wide targets designed to promote racial parity often neglect to incorporate gender. 

While many companies claim to be family friendly, women with children continue to pay a very real  penalty  for the so-called “second shift” of housework and child-rearing.

Thus, leaders at every level of the organization must share an ongoing commitment to actionable policies promoting gender and racial parity of all levels of leadership. They must actively work to identify and eliminate the very real obstacles that currently prevent talented and ambitious women, including women of color, from taking the next step into leadership.  

Without such decisive and critical steps, “the broken rung” will continue to inhibit women’s ability to lead and succeed, while organizations are left without the benefits and successes that stem directly from incorporating a true diversity of voices at the top. 

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About the Author

Digital Content Producer

Emerson is a Digital Content Producer at Harvard DCE. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and Yale University and started her career as an international affairs analyst. She is an avid triathlete and has completed three Ironman triathlons, as well as the Boston Marathon.

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Girls and Women

Gender equality is fundamental to the achievement of human rights and is an aspiration that benefits all of society, including girls and women. The universal advantages of gender equality have been well-documented, and several international frameworks have affirmed its centrality to human rights and sustainable development. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action , for example, unanimously adopted by 189 countries in 1995 and still the strongest global consensus for advancing and protecting girls’ and women’s equality and justice, recognizes that persistent inequalities pose “serious consequences for the well-being of all people.”

Yet, despite the promise of equality, progress towards it has been slow, fragile, incremental, and reversible – and dramatically undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, in every region of the world, girls and women are still more likely to be poor, illiterate, hungry, unhealthy, underrepresented in leadership positions, legally constrained, politically marginalized, and endangered by violence.

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The 2021 Generation Equality Forum mobilized diverse stakeholders to accelerate progress for gender equality. We continue to work with partners to implement existing commitments and encourage new stakeholders to join this collective journey towards gender equality. Read about UN Foundation’s commitment.

Ending gender-based violence

In partnership with the Spotlight Initiative, the UN Foundation has established a funding vehicle — the WithHer Fund — which provides resources directly to grassroots women’s organizations around the world working to end gender-based violence in their local communities.

Leveling the law

The UN Foundation is working with partners, like the World Bank, to improve knowledge about discriminatory laws that impede progress for girls and women and advocate for laws that protect the rights of girls and women in every aspect of their lives.

private sector action

We convene a group of high-level corporate leaders to gather in common cause and share their approaches to gender equity and equality at work, discuss best practices and lessons learned, and promote five key policy asks to achieve gender equality in the workplace.

The UN Foundation is dedicated to achieving equality everywhere. With our broad set of programs, we defend the rights and inclusion of girls and women by improving the quality, availability, and use of gender data ; support the rights of girls and women to decide when, and how many children to have; protect and strengthen the largest source of funding for global sexual and reproductive health and rights , including women’s empowerment in global supply chains; develop global girl leaders and advocates; facilitate convergent and comprehensive service delivery for girls and women; enable the benefits of clean cooking  and connect women heads of state and government .

By harnessing the power of our comprehensive portfolio, our diverse and committed partners, and our founding commitment to work with and for the UN, we’re pushing for accelerated progress toward SDG 5 and all the SDGs, to realize a world that is better and fairer for all people.

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benefits of gender equality essay

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Sia Nowrojee


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Explore More Issues

Education and gender equality

Gender equality and education

Gender equality is a global priority at UNESCO. Globally, 122 million girls and 128 million boys are out of school. Women still account for almost two-thirds of all adults unable to read.

UNESCO calls for attention to gender equality throughout the education system in relation to access, content, teaching and learning context and practices, learning outcomes, and life and work opportunities. The  UNESCO Strategy for gender equality in and through education (2019-2025)  focuses on a system-wide transformation to benefit all learners equally in three key areas: better data to inform action, better legal and policy frameworks to advance rights and better teaching and learning practices to empower. 

What you need to know about education and gender equality

Key figures.

of which 122 million are girls and 128 million are boys

of which 56% are women

for every 100 young women

Empowering communities: UNESCO in action

Schoolgirls Education

Keeping girls in the picture

Everyone can play a role in supporting girls’ education

UNESCO’s new drive to accelerate action for girls’ and women’s education

2022 GEM Report Gender Report: Deepening the debate on those still left behind

Capacity building tools

  • From access to empowerment: operational tools to advance gender equality in and through education
  • Communication strategy: UNESCO guidance on communicating on gender equality in and through education
  • Communication tools
  • Keeping girls in the picture: youth advocacy toolkit
  • Keeping girls in the picture: community radio toolkit

Gender in education capacity building

Monitoring SDG 4: equity and inclusion in education

Resources from UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report.

Related items

  • Gender equality
  • Policy Advice
  • Girls education
  • See more add

benefits of gender equality essay

Gender equality through school: providing a safe and inclusive learning environment

Credit: Khumais

Boys and girls must feel welcome in a safe and secure learning environment. Governments, schools, teachers and students all have a part to play in ensuring that schools are free of violence and discrimination and provide a gender-sensitive, good-quality education (Figure 16). To achieve this, governments can develop nondiscriminatory curricula, facilitate teacher education and make sure sanitation facilities are adequate. Schools are responsible for addressing school-related violence and providing comprehensive health education. Teachers should follow professional norms regarding appropriate disciplinary practices and provide unbiased instruction. And students must behave in a non-violent, inclusive way.

FIGURE 16: Who is responsible for what in ensuring gender equality through school

benefits of gender equality essay


School-related violence is a pervasive issue in some countries. Violence can be physical, psychological or sexual; it can occur on school grounds, in transit or in cyberspace; and it may include bullying, corporal punishment, verbal and emotional abuse, intimidation, sexual harassment and assault, gang activity and the presence of weapons among students. It is often perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes and enforced by unequal power dynamics. It was estimated that, globally, approximately 246 million girls and boys experienced some form of school-related violence in 2014 (UNGEI, 2017).

While the vast majority of teachers are caring professionals who put the best interest of their students first, some abuse their position of power. In West and Central African countries, sexual abuse and exploitation by teachers, school staff and others in position of authority is common practice (Antonowicz, 2010). Sexual violence happens frequently in many schools in South Africa but crimes are rarely investigated and prosecution rates are low (HRW, 2016). In the United Republic of Tanzania, over half of girls and boys who had experienced physical abuse identified a teacher as an abuser (HakiElimu, 2017). In Samoa, 41% of children surveyed in 2013 indicated that they had experienced violence at the hands of their teacher (Office of the Ombudsman and NHRI Samoa, 2015).

Some countries, including Chile, Fiji, Finland, Peru, the Republic of Korea and Sweden, have passed legislation on violence in educational institutions (UNESCO, 2015c, 2017b). The 2013 Anti-Bullying Act in the Philippines requires all schools to adopt policies to prevent and address acts of bullying. It explicitly refers to gender-based bullying, which is described as any act that humiliates or excludes a person on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity. Yet in the following year just 38% of schools had adopted child protection or anti-bullying policies. The low rate highlighted a lack of communication and a weak monitoring framework.

The Department of Education responded by issuing a memorandum to clarify submission requirements and is working to build implementation capacity (UNESCO, 2015c). Teacher education and codes of conduct can help change teacher attitudes and behaviours. In South Sudan, the UNICEF Communities Care programme engaged with teachers to challenge norms that enable sexual violence and brought about some shifts in teacher attitudes and behaviours (UNGEI, 2017). The Doorways programme in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Malawi trained upper primary and lower secondary school teachers on children’s rights and responsibilities, alternative teaching practices, basic counselling and listening skills, awareness of sexual harassment at school and teacher code of conduct (DevTech Systems, 2008; Queen et al., 2015). The Communication for Change project trained teachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo to act as first responders when they witnessed school-related gender-based violence. The share of participating teachers who were aware of how to prevent gender-based violence in school increased from 56% to 95% after the intervention (C-Change, 2013). Teacher codes of conduct are generally written by teacher unions to guide their members. They promote professional accountability by giving peers a way to hold each other to account for adhering to norms (Poisson, 2009). A recent survey by Education International found that teacher codes of conduct were present in 26 of 50 countries surveyed (EI, 2017). A separate review of 24 countries found that over half of teachers believed the code of conduct had a very significant impact in reducing misconduct (McKelvie-Sebileau, 2011).

Teacher codes of conduct can be effective in reducing school-related gender-based violence if they explicitly refer to violence and abuse and include clear breach reporting and enforcement protocols. Mongolia’s Teachers Code of Ethics for General Education Schools and Kindergartens contains a section on teacher ethical norms, which specifies that teachers should protect student’s health and well-being, including from sexual abuse, and should ensure equal participation without discrimination, including on the basis of sex (Steiner-Khamsi and Batjargal, 2017). Kenya has a range of penalties for breach of professional conduct, including suspension and interdiction. Teachers convicted of sexual offences against students are deregistered (Kenya Teachers Service Commission, 2013). However, even when they exist, these codes are not always successfully disseminated.

The implementation of Ethiopia’s Code of Conduct on Prevention of School-Related Gender-Based Violence in Schools has been patchy. Some school staff reportedly lacked commitment to or a sense of ownership of the code (Parkes et al., 2017). Students are also responsible for ensuring their behaviour does not impinge on others’ right to education (UNICEF and UNESCO, 2007). Schools are increasingly implementing prevention-oriented models to teach students acceptable strategies for interacting with their peers (Horner et al., 2010). These models set clear guidelines for students and define consistent instruction, record-keeping and follow-up procedures for teachers and other adults, such as administrative and custodial staff, playground supervisors, cafeteria workers and parent and community volunteers (Lewis et al., 2014).

Students are more likely to show positive social behaviours and reduce negative behaviours after the implementation of such programmes (Durlak et al., 2011). There is also increasing evidence linking improved social skills to academic achievement (Horner et al., 2010). While these codes of conduct are mostly used in Europe and North America (Sklad et al., 2012), Asian countries such as Singapore have also begun adopting them (Durlak et al., 2011).


Inadequate sanitation facilities for girls during menstruation can have a negative effect on school attendance. Among 145 countries with data, primary school access to basic sanitation facilities was below 50% in 28 countries, 17 of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Only limited data are available on whether girls have separate facilities, let alone whether the facilities are functional or well maintained. In only 9 of 44 countries did more than 75% of primary schools have single-sex facilities; in Benin and Comoros, under 5% of schools had single-sex facilities. An estimated one in ten African girls miss school during menstruation (HRW, 2016).

Regulations requiring separate toilet facilities for boys and girls can help. Yet analysis of regulations in 71 education systems by the GEM Report team shows that only 61% required sex-separate facilities for public schools and 66% for private schools (UNESCO, 2017a). Regulations alone are not sufficient to ensure facilities are available. Although separate sanitation facilities are mandated by regulations in Bangladesh, a survey found that in 2014 only 12% of girls reported access to female-only toilets with water and soap available. Combined with a lack of waste bins, the poor facilities contributed to girls missing school during menstruation. Two in five girls were absent during menstruation for an average of three days during each cycle (Alam et al., 2014). Girls in Haiti have reported having to go home to change the materials they use to manage their menstruation, resulting in lost instructional time (HRW, 2016).

School inspections play a key role in ensuring that schools adhere to regulations. However, inspections do not always take gender issues into account. In Sweden, the school inspectorate takes gender equality into consideration (Heikkilä, 2016) and in the United Kingdom inspectors evaluate equal opportunities in the classroom and whether the school provides an inclusive environment for boys and girls (Rogers, 2014). By contrast, gender issues are rarely included in inspections in Bangladesh, with sex-separate sanitation facilities only occasionally observed (Chatterley et al., 2014). In any case, inspectorates are severely constrained by human resource shortages in many poor countries. For instance, in Mvomero district, United Republic of Tanzania, although 80% of schools are supposed to be inspected annually, only one in five schools were inspected in 2013 (Holvoet, 2015).

benefits of gender equality essay


To facilitate gender-responsive instruction, curricula and textbooks should be free from gender bias and promote equality in gender relations. How students perceive themselves and how they project their role in society is shaped to some extent by what they experience at school, including by how they are represented in textbooks.

Comprehensive sexuality education

School-based comprehensive sexuality education programmes equip children and young people with empowering knowledge, skills and attitudes. In many contexts, programmes focus almost exclusively on HIV as a motivator to encourage students to delay sexual activity and have fewer sexual partners and less frequent sexual contacts (Fonner et al., 2014). However, international guidelines and standards, along with emerging evidence about factors influencing programme effectiveness, increasingly stress the value of a comprehensive approach centred on gender and human rights (Ketting and Winkelmann, 2013). A review of 22 studies showed that comprehensive sexuality education programmes that addressed gender power relations were five times more likely to be effective in reducing rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy than those that did not (Haberland, 2015).

In 2009, UNESCO and other UN agencies published the revised International Technical Guidance on Sexual Education to provide an evidence-based, age-appropriate set of topics and learning objectives for comprehensive sexuality education programmes for students aged 5 to 18 (UNESCO, 2009). In 2010, the International Planned Parenthood Federation adopted a rights-based approach in its Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and the WHO Regional Office for Europe produced Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe as a framework for policy-makers and education and health authorities (WHO Regional Office for Europe and BZgA, 2010). Nearly ten years after the original report, UNESCO’s revised guidance expands coverage to both school-based and out-of-school programmes with a strong focus on human rights, gender equality and skills building. The guidance can act as both an advocacy and accountability tool for programme implementers, NGOs, and youth (UNESCO, 2018).

A 2015 review of the status of comprehensive sexuality education in 48 countries found that almost 80% had supportive policies or strategies. Despite this political will, a significant gap remained between policies and implementation (UNESCO, 2015b). In western and central Africa, UNESCO’s Sexuality Education Review and Assessment Tool was used to assess 10 out of 13 national sexuality education programmes. Fewer than half the curricula met global standards for required content for all age groups, with gender and social norms identified as the weakest areas (Herat et al., 2014; UNESCO and UNFPA, 2012).

Recent studies in Ghana and Kenya provided evidence of gaps in content and delivery. The Kenya study covered 78 public and private secondary schools. While 75% of teachers reported teaching all topics of a comprehensive sexuality education programme, only 2% of students reported learning all topics. Only 20% learned about types of contraceptive methods, and even fewer learned how to use and where to get them (Figure 17). In some cases, incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information was taught. Almost 60% of teachers incorrectly taught that condoms alone were not effective in pregnancy prevention (Sidze et al., 2017). Moreover, 71% of teachers emphasized abstinence as the best or only method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and most depicted sex as dangerous or immoral for young people.

FIGURE 17: In Kenya, only one in five students reported learning about contraceptive methods

benefits of gender equality essay

Barriers to effective implementation of comprehensive programmes include lack of well-trained teachers, poor support of schools, weak regulation and supervision of policy implementation, opposition from religious and conservative groups, and culturally imposed silence about sexuality. In the Ghana study, 77% of teachers reported lacking resources or teaching materials. A smaller share reported conflicts, embarrassment or opposition from the community or students on moral or religious grounds (Awusabo-Asare et al., 2017).

Textbooks increasingly cover gender issues but progress is insufficient

Self-reporting from governments in Cuba, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Nicaragua, Slovenia and Spain indicates that gender equality is integrated into national school curricula (UN Human Rights Council, 2017). The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science equality as one of the key values in its new core curriculum (Steiner-Khamsi and Batjargal, 2017).

Over the past 50 years, mentions of women and women’s rights in textbooks have increased (Bromley et al., 2016; Nakagawa and Wotipka, 2016). Nevertheless, in many countries women remain under-represented or, when included, are relegated to traditional roles such as housework and childcare (UNESCO, 2016a). Women accounted for only 37% of images in primary and secondary school textbooks in the Islamic Republic of

Iran in 2006–2007 (Paivandi, 2008) and across nine Jordanian secondary school history books only 21% of images were female. From Sweden to the Syrian Arab Republic, despite governments explicitly identifying the importance of gender equality in textbooks, women and men were still routinely portrayed in a stereotypical manner (Bromley et al., 2016).

Both governments and civil society can act to reduce textbook biases. The Human Rights Council has made it clear that ‘states have an obligation to periodically review and revise curricula, textbooks, programmes and teaching methods to ensure that they do not perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes’ (UN Human Rights Council, 2017). Some states include an explicit gender analysis as part of their textbook and review process. In Viet Nam, the National Strategy on Gender Equality for 2011–2020 specifies that textbook content should be reviewed for gender stereotypes (UNESCO, 2016c). In Ghana, the Textbook Development and Distribution Policy for Pre-tertiary Education included gender sensitivity as one of the main criteria for evaluating textbook proposals (Ghana MOE, 2001). By contrast, the Pakistan National Textbook and Learning Materials Policy and Plan of Action does not mention gender as a criterion of textbook review, referring instead to ‘quality of content, presentation, language and specific provincial coverage’ (Pakistan MOE, 2007).

Textbook monitoring by parents and civil society can be effective. In South Africa, a parent’s question posted on Facebook in July 2016 inspired a petition that ultimately led the textbook publisher to amend and issue an apology for content that promoted blaming the victim for sexual assault (Davies, 2016).

benefits of gender equality essay


Aside from the influence of official curricula and textbooks, teacher practice in the classroom is partly shaped by their assumptions and stereotypes about gender, which in turn affects students’ beliefs and learning. In Australia, female teachers felt particularly responsible for boys’ underachievement relative to male teachers (Hodgetts, 2010). In the United States, anxiety expressed by female mathematics teachers was associated with female students’ belief in the stereotype that boys are better at mathematics (Beilock et al., 2010).

Teacher education can assist teachers to reflect on and overcome their biases. Formal initiatives in teacher education with a focus on gender have taken place in Italy, the Republic of Moldova and Sudan (OHCHR, 2015). In Spain, the University of Oviedo requires teacher candidates to complete a mandatory course on gender and education (Bourn et al., 2017). In Ankara, Turkey preservice teachers that took a semester long course on gender equity in education developed more gender sensitive attitudes (Erden, 2009).

In low and middle income countries, teacher education programmes are often externally funded. The UNESCO Regional Bureau in Bangkok has recently funded a five-year project, Enhancing Girls’ and Women’s Right to Quality Education through Gender Sensitive Policy Making, Teacher Development and Pedagogy, which focuses on training participants from Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan to conduct gender assessments in teacher education (UNESCO, 2016b).

In Karamoja region, Uganda, the UNICEF Gender Socialization in Schools programme trained over 1,000 primary school teachers to enhance their knowledge, attitudes and practices related to gender equality promotion and conflict resolution. The initial training lasted for two days and was followed by two refresher training sessions. A subset of teachers received reinforcing text messages reminding them of examples of good practice. However, while the programme improved teachers’ knowledge and attitudes on gender equality, classroom practices did not become more gender-responsive (American Institutes for Research and UNICEF, 2016; El-Bushra and Smith, 2016).

Nigeria updated its teacher education curriculum in 2012, in part to address gender issues (Unterhalter et al., 2015). While a policy is in place to ensure minimum standards on gender equality, a survey of 4,500 student teachers in 2014 showed that very few had an in-depth understanding of what gender equality in education might mean, while many were hostile to women’s participation in public life and any form of social engagement. Among respondents employed following graduation, teachers reported receiving no professional development on gender, a point echoed by other colleagues at the schools where they taught. Teachers who had the most egalitarian ideas about gender reported themselves the most frustrated of respondents and said that they were unable to put their ideas into practice (Unterhalter et al., 2017).

The examples from Uganda and Nigeria highlight some of the challenges in changing teacher practices. To be effective, teacher education and training need to be continuous to recognize the time it takes for such practices to change. They also need to incorporate other stakeholders to help build a more supportive environment.

benefits of gender equality essay

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Gender Equality Essay

Everyone should live as they want in society, and there should be no discrimination. Equality in society is achieved when all people, regardless of their caste, gender, colour, profession, and status rank, are considered equal. Another way to describe equality is that everyone gets the same rights and opportunities to develop and progress forward. Here are a few sample essays on ‘Gender Equality’.

Gender Equality Essay

100 Words Essay On Gender Equality

Gender equality is the belief that men and women should be treated and perceived as equals in society, including all areas such as education, employment, and in decision-making positions. It is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

Despite significant progress in advancing gender equality, women and girls continue to face barriers and discrimination in many areas of society. This includes the gender pay gap, difficult access to education and employment opportunities, and limited representation in leadership positions. Creating a more equal society benefits everyone, as it leads to greater prosperity and happiness for all. It is important for individuals, communities, and governments to work towards achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls to reach their full potential.

200 Words Essay On Gender Equality

Gender equality is the equal treatment and perception of individuals of all genders in society.

Importance Of Gender Equality

Gender equality is important because it is a fundamental human right and is necessary for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable society. When everyone, regardless of their gender, is treated fairly and has equal opportunities, it can lead to greater prosperity and happiness for all.

Additionally, gender equality can have a positive impact on economic growth and development. When women and girls are able to fully participate and get proper education and employment opportunities, it can lead to increased productivity and innovation. It can also contribute to more balanced and representative decision-making, which can lead to more effective and fair policies and practices.

Furthermore, gender equality is essential for promoting social justice and fairness. When women and girls are marginalized and discriminated against, it can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including poverty, poor health, and reduced opportunities for personal and professional development. Overall, the promotion of gender equality is important for creating a more equal, fair, and just society for all.

Encouraging Gender Equality

Efforts to promote gender equality must involve the active participation and engagement of both men and women. This includes challenging and changing harmful gender norms and stereotypes, and promoting policies and laws that protect and advance the rights of women and girls.

500 Words Essay On Gender Equality

Everyone in the country has the same fundamental freedom to pursue happiness whichever way they see fit. It's possible if people of various backgrounds (race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, gender) are treated with respect and dignity. Gender disparity is the most noticeable kind of prejudice. Gender discrimination persists even in many modern nations and calls for immediate action. When men and women are given the same opportunities, we will achieve gender equality. Furthermore, this essay will outline the many issues women encounter due to gender discrimination.

Prevalence Of Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is prevalent in many sectors and areas of society. Some examples include:

Education: Women and girls may face barriers to accessing education, such as lack of resources, cultural or societal barriers, and discrimination.

Employment: Women and girls may face discrimination in the workplace, including lower pay for the same work as men, lack of promotion opportunities, and limited representation in leadership positions.

Health care: Women and girls may face discrimination and inadequate access to quality health care, particularly in areas related to reproductive and sexual health.

Political representation: Women are often underrepresented in political leadership positions and decision-making processes.

Domestic violence: Women and girls may face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, and may lack adequate protection and support from the justice system.

Media and advertising: Women and girls are often portrayed in stereotypical and objectifying ways in the media and advertising, which can reinforce harmful gender norms and stereotypes.

Gender inequality is a widespread issue that affects many areas of society, and it is important to work towards promoting gender equality in all sectors.

How India Can Achieve Gender Equality

Achieving gender equality in India will require a multi-faceted approach that involves addressing social norms and stereotypes, strengthening laws and policies, increasing women's representation in leadership positions, promoting women's economic empowerment, and improving access to health care.

Address social norms and stereotypes: It is important to challenge and change harmful gender norms and stereotypes that contribute to gender inequality. This can be done through education campaigns and programs that promote gender equality and challenge traditional gender roles.

Strengthen laws and policies: India can work to strengthen laws and policies that protect and advance the rights of women and girls, such as laws against domestic violence and discrimination, and policies that promote equal pay for equal work and access to education and employment.

Increase women's representation in leadership positions: India can work to increase the representation of women in leadership positions, including in politics, business, and other sectors, to ensure that women have a stronger voice in decision-making processes.

Promote women's economic empowerment: Providing women with access to education, employment, and financial resources can help to empower them and enable them to fully participate in society.

Improve access to health care: Ensuring that women and girls have access to quality health care, including reproductive and sexual health care, is essential for promoting gender equality.

My Experience

I remember one time when I was working as an intern at a small consulting firm. At the end of my internship, I was offered a full-time position. However, when I received the offer letter, I noticed that my male colleagues who were also being offered full-time positions had been offered a higher salary than me, even though we had all performed the same job duties during our internships.

I was frustrated and felt that I was being treated unfairly because of my gender. I decided to bring this issue to the attention of my supervisor, and after some negotiation, I was able to secure a salary that was equal to that of my male colleagues.

This experience taught me the importance of advocating for myself and not accepting inequality, and it also made me more aware of the ways in which gender bias can manifest in the workplace. I believe that it is important for individuals to speak up and take action when they see instances of gender inequality, and for organizations to make a conscious effort to promote gender equality and fairness in all aspects of their operations.

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Data Administrator

Database professionals use software to store and organise data such as financial information, and customer shipping records. Individuals who opt for a career as data administrators ensure that data is available for users and secured from unauthorised sales. DB administrators may work in various types of industries. It may involve computer systems design, service firms, insurance companies, banks and hospitals.

Bio Medical Engineer

The field of biomedical engineering opens up a universe of expert chances. An Individual in the biomedical engineering career path work in the field of engineering as well as medicine, in order to find out solutions to common problems of the two fields. The biomedical engineering job opportunities are to collaborate with doctors and researchers to develop medical systems, equipment, or devices that can solve clinical problems. Here we will be discussing jobs after biomedical engineering, how to get a job in biomedical engineering, biomedical engineering scope, and salary. 

GIS officer work on various GIS software to conduct a study and gather spatial and non-spatial information. GIS experts update the GIS data and maintain it. The databases include aerial or satellite imagery, latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates, and manually digitized images of maps. In a career as GIS expert, one is responsible for creating online and mobile maps.

Remote Sensing Technician

Individuals who opt for a career as a remote sensing technician possess unique personalities. Remote sensing analysts seem to be rational human beings, they are strong, independent, persistent, sincere, realistic and resourceful. Some of them are analytical as well, which means they are intelligent, introspective and inquisitive. 

Remote sensing scientists use remote sensing technology to support scientists in fields such as community planning, flight planning or the management of natural resources. Analysing data collected from aircraft, satellites or ground-based platforms using statistical analysis software, image analysis software or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a significant part of their work. Do you want to learn how to become remote sensing technician? There's no need to be concerned; we've devised a simple remote sensing technician career path for you. Scroll through the pages and read.

Database Architect

If you are intrigued by the programming world and are interested in developing communications networks then a career as database architect may be a good option for you. Data architect roles and responsibilities include building design models for data communication networks. Wide Area Networks (WANs), local area networks (LANs), and intranets are included in the database networks. It is expected that database architects will have in-depth knowledge of a company's business to develop a network to fulfil the requirements of the organisation. Stay tuned as we look at the larger picture and give you more information on what is db architecture, why you should pursue database architecture, what to expect from such a degree and what your job opportunities will be after graduation. Here, we will be discussing how to become a data architect. Students can visit NIT Trichy , IIT Kharagpur , JMI New Delhi . 

Ethical Hacker

A career as ethical hacker involves various challenges and provides lucrative opportunities in the digital era where every giant business and startup owns its cyberspace on the world wide web. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path try to find the vulnerabilities in the cyber system to get its authority. If he or she succeeds in it then he or she gets its illegal authority. Individuals in the ethical hacker career path then steal information or delete the file that could affect the business, functioning, or services of the organization.

Data Analyst

The invention of the database has given fresh breath to the people involved in the data analytics career path. Analysis refers to splitting up a whole into its individual components for individual analysis. Data analysis is a method through which raw data are processed and transformed into information that would be beneficial for user strategic thinking.

Data are collected and examined to respond to questions, evaluate hypotheses or contradict theories. It is a tool for analyzing, transforming, modeling, and arranging data with useful knowledge, to assist in decision-making and methods, encompassing various strategies, and is used in different fields of business, research, and social science.

Water Manager

A career as water manager needs to provide clean water, preventing flood damage, and disposing of sewage and other wastes. He or she also repairs and maintains structures that control the flow of water, such as reservoirs, sea defense walls, and pumping stations. In addition to these, the Manager has other responsibilities related to water resource management.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysis, in a nutshell, entails thoroughly analyzing the details of a financial budget. The budget analysis aims to better understand and manage revenue. Budget analysts assist in the achievement of financial targets, the preservation of profitability, and the pursuit of long-term growth for a business. Budget analysts generally have a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics, or a closely related field. Knowledge of Financial Management is of prime importance in this career.

Operations Manager

Individuals in the operations manager jobs are responsible for ensuring the efficiency of each department to acquire its optimal goal. They plan the use of resources and distribution of materials. The operations manager's job description includes managing budgets, negotiating contracts, and performing administrative tasks.

Finance Executive

A career as a Finance Executive requires one to be responsible for monitoring an organisation's income, investments and expenses to create and evaluate financial reports. His or her role involves performing audits, invoices, and budget preparations. He or she manages accounting activities, bank reconciliations, and payable and receivable accounts.  

Product Manager

A Product Manager is a professional responsible for product planning and marketing. He or she manages the product throughout the Product Life Cycle, gathering and prioritising the product. A product manager job description includes defining the product vision and working closely with team members of other departments to deliver winning products.  

Investment Banker

An Investment Banking career involves the invention and generation of capital for other organizations, governments, and other entities. Individuals who opt for a career as Investment Bankers are the head of a team dedicated to raising capital by issuing bonds. Investment bankers are termed as the experts who have their fingers on the pulse of the current financial and investing climate. Students can pursue various Investment Banker courses, such as Banking and Insurance , and  Economics to opt for an Investment Banking career path.


An underwriter is a person who assesses and evaluates the risk of insurance in his or her field like mortgage, loan, health policy, investment, and so on and so forth. The underwriter career path does involve risks as analysing the risks means finding out if there is a way for the insurance underwriter jobs to recover the money from its clients. If the risk turns out to be too much for the company then in the future it is an underwriter who will be held accountable for it. Therefore, one must carry out his or her job with a lot of attention and diligence.

Fund Manager

Are you searching for a fund manager job description? A fund manager is a stock market professional hired by a mutual fund company to manage the funds’ portfolio of numerous clients and oversee their trading activities. In an investment company, multiple managers oversee the clients’ money and make their respective decisions. 

Welding Engineer

Welding Engineer Job Description: A Welding Engineer work involves managing welding projects and supervising welding teams. He or she is responsible for reviewing welding procedures, processes and documentation. A career as Welding Engineer involves conducting failure analyses and causes on welding issues. 

Transportation Planner

A career as Transportation Planner requires technical application of science and technology in engineering, particularly the concepts, equipment and technologies involved in the production of products and services. In fields like land use, infrastructure review, ecological standards and street design, he or she considers issues of health, environment and performance. A Transportation Planner assigns resources for implementing and designing programmes. He or she is responsible for assessing needs, preparing plans and forecasts and compliance with regulations.

Construction Manager

Individuals who opt for a career as construction managers have a senior-level management role offered in construction firms. Responsibilities in the construction management career path are assigning tasks to workers, inspecting their work, and coordinating with other professionals including architects, subcontractors, and building services engineers.

Environmental Engineer

Individuals who opt for a career as an environmental engineer are construction professionals who utilise the skills and knowledge of biology, soil science, chemistry and the concept of engineering to design and develop projects that serve as solutions to various environmental problems. 

Naval Architect

A Naval Architect is a professional who designs, produces and repairs safe and sea-worthy surfaces or underwater structures. A Naval Architect stays involved in creating and designing ships, ferries, submarines and yachts with implementation of various principles such as gravity, ideal hull form, buoyancy and stability. 

Field Surveyor

Are you searching for a Field Surveyor Job Description? A Field Surveyor is a professional responsible for conducting field surveys for various places or geographical conditions. He or she collects the required data and information as per the instructions given by senior officials. 

Highway Engineer

Highway Engineer Job Description:  A Highway Engineer is a civil engineer who specialises in planning and building thousands of miles of roads that support connectivity and allow transportation across the country. He or she ensures that traffic management schemes are effectively planned concerning economic sustainability and successful implementation.

Conservation Architect

A Conservation Architect is a professional responsible for conserving and restoring buildings or monuments having a historic value. He or she applies techniques to document and stabilise the object’s state without any further damage. A Conservation Architect restores the monuments and heritage buildings to bring them back to their original state.

Orthotist and Prosthetist

Orthotists and Prosthetists are professionals who provide aid to patients with disabilities. They fix them to artificial limbs (prosthetics) and help them to regain stability. There are times when people lose their limbs in an accident. In some other occasions, they are born without a limb or orthopaedic impairment. Orthotists and prosthetists play a crucial role in their lives with fixing them to assistive devices and provide mobility.

Veterinary Doctor

A veterinary doctor is a medical professional with a degree in veterinary science. The veterinary science qualification is the minimum requirement to become a veterinary doctor. There are numerous veterinary science courses offered by various institutes. He or she is employed at zoos to ensure they are provided with good health facilities and medical care to improve their life expectancy.


A career in pathology in India is filled with several responsibilities as it is a medical branch and affects human lives. The demand for pathologists has been increasing over the past few years as people are getting more aware of different diseases. Not only that, but an increase in population and lifestyle changes have also contributed to the increase in a pathologist’s demand. The pathology careers provide an extremely huge number of opportunities and if you want to be a part of the medical field you can consider being a pathologist. If you want to know more about a career in pathology in India then continue reading this article.

Speech Therapist


Gynaecology can be defined as the study of the female body. The job outlook for gynaecology is excellent since there is evergreen demand for one because of their responsibility of dealing with not only women’s health but also fertility and pregnancy issues. Although most women prefer to have a women obstetrician gynaecologist as their doctor, men also explore a career as a gynaecologist and there are ample amounts of male doctors in the field who are gynaecologists and aid women during delivery and childbirth. 

An oncologist is a specialised doctor responsible for providing medical care to patients diagnosed with cancer. He or she uses several therapies to control the cancer and its effect on the human body such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy and biopsy. An oncologist designs a treatment plan based on a pathology report after diagnosing the type of cancer and where it is spreading inside the body.


The audiologist career involves audiology professionals who are responsible to treat hearing loss and proactively preventing the relevant damage. Individuals who opt for a career as an audiologist use various testing strategies with the aim to determine if someone has a normal sensitivity to sounds or not. After the identification of hearing loss, a hearing doctor is required to determine which sections of the hearing are affected, to what extent they are affected, and where the wound causing the hearing loss is found. As soon as the hearing loss is identified, the patients are provided with recommendations for interventions and rehabilitation such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and appropriate medical referrals. While audiology is a branch of science that studies and researches hearing, balance, and related disorders.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Cardiothoracic surgeons are an important part of the surgical team. They usually work in hospitals, and perform emergency as well as scheduled operations. Some of the cardiothoracic surgeons also work in teaching hospitals working as teachers and guides for medical students aspiring to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. A career as a cardiothoracic surgeon involves treating and managing various types of conditions within their speciality that includes their presence at different locations such as outpatient clinics, team meetings, and ward rounds. 

For an individual who opts for a career as an actor, the primary responsibility is to completely speak to the character he or she is playing and to persuade the crowd that the character is genuine by connecting with them and bringing them into the story. This applies to significant roles and littler parts, as all roles join to make an effective creation. Here in this article, we will discuss how to become an actor in India, actor exams, actor salary in India, and actor jobs. 

Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats create and direct original routines for themselves, in addition to developing interpretations of existing routines. The work of circus acrobats can be seen in a variety of performance settings, including circus, reality shows, sports events like the Olympics, movies and commercials. Individuals who opt for a career as acrobats must be prepared to face rejections and intermittent periods of work. The creativity of acrobats may extend to other aspects of the performance. For example, acrobats in the circus may work with gym trainers, celebrities or collaborate with other professionals to enhance such performance elements as costume and or maybe at the teaching end of the career.

Video Game Designer

Career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. Individuals who opt for a career as a video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages.

Depending on the video game designer job description and experience they may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.

Talent Agent

The career as a Talent Agent is filled with responsibilities. A Talent Agent is someone who is involved in the pre-production process of the film. It is a very busy job for a Talent Agent but as and when an individual gains experience and progresses in the career he or she can have people assisting him or her in work. Depending on one’s responsibilities, number of clients and experience he or she may also have to lead a team and work with juniors under him or her in a talent agency. In order to know more about the job of a talent agent continue reading the article.

If you want to know more about talent agent meaning, how to become a Talent Agent, or Talent Agent job description then continue reading this article.

Radio Jockey

Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising career and a great challenge for music lovers. If you are really interested in a career as radio jockey, then it is very important for an RJ to have an automatic, fun, and friendly personality. If you want to get a job done in this field, a strong command of the language and a good voice are always good things. Apart from this, in order to be a good radio jockey, you will also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later make your own by practicing.

A career as radio jockey has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. If you want to know more about a career as radio jockey, and how to become a radio jockey then continue reading the article.


Careers in videography are art that can be defined as a creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than a simple recording of a simple event. It would be wrong to portrait it as a subcategory of photography, rather photography is one of the crafts used in videographer jobs in addition to technical skills like organization, management, interpretation, and image-manipulation techniques. Students pursue Visual Media , Film, Television, Digital Video Production to opt for a videographer career path. The visual impacts of a film are driven by the creative decisions taken in videography jobs. Individuals who opt for a career as a videographer are involved in the entire lifecycle of a film and production. 

Multimedia Specialist

A multimedia specialist is a media professional who creates, audio, videos, graphic image files, computer animations for multimedia applications. He or she is responsible for planning, producing, and maintaining websites and applications. 

An individual who is pursuing a career as a producer is responsible for managing the business aspects of production. They are involved in each aspect of production from its inception to deception. Famous movie producers review the script, recommend changes and visualise the story. 

They are responsible for overseeing the finance involved in the project and distributing the film for broadcasting on various platforms. A career as a producer is quite fulfilling as well as exhaustive in terms of playing different roles in order for a production to be successful. Famous movie producers are responsible for hiring creative and technical personnel on contract basis.

Copy Writer

In a career as a copywriter, one has to consult with the client and understand the brief well. A career as a copywriter has a lot to offer to deserving candidates. Several new mediums of advertising are opening therefore making it a lucrative career choice. Students can pursue various copywriter courses such as Journalism , Advertising , Marketing Management . Here, we have discussed how to become a freelance copywriter, copywriter career path, how to become a copywriter in India, and copywriting career outlook. 

Careers in journalism are filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. One cannot afford to miss out on the details. As it is the small details that provide insights into a story. Depending on those insights a journalist goes about writing a news article. A journalism career can be stressful at times but if you are someone who is passionate about it then it is the right choice for you. If you want to know more about the media field and journalist career then continue reading this article.

For publishing books, newspapers, magazines and digital material, editorial and commercial strategies are set by publishers. Individuals in publishing career paths make choices about the markets their businesses will reach and the type of content that their audience will be served. Individuals in book publisher careers collaborate with editorial staff, designers, authors, and freelance contributors who develop and manage the creation of content.

In a career as a vlogger, one generally works for himself or herself. However, once an individual has gained viewership there are several brands and companies that approach them for paid collaboration. It is one of those fields where an individual can earn well while following his or her passion. 

Ever since internet costs got reduced the viewership for these types of content has increased on a large scale. Therefore, a career as a vlogger has a lot to offer. If you want to know more about the Vlogger eligibility, roles and responsibilities then continue reading the article. 

Individuals in the editor career path is an unsung hero of the news industry who polishes the language of the news stories provided by stringers, reporters, copywriters and content writers and also news agencies. Individuals who opt for a career as an editor make it more persuasive, concise and clear for readers. In this article, we will discuss the details of the editor's career path such as how to become an editor in India, editor salary in India and editor skills and qualities.

Fashion Journalist

Fashion journalism involves performing research and writing about the most recent fashion trends. Journalists obtain this knowledge by collaborating with stylists, conducting interviews with fashion designers, and attending fashion shows, photoshoots, and conferences. A fashion Journalist  job is to write copy for trade and advertisement journals, fashion magazines, newspapers, and online fashion forums about style and fashion.

Corporate Executive

Are you searching for a Corporate Executive job description? A Corporate Executive role comes with administrative duties. He or she provides support to the leadership of the organisation. A Corporate Executive fulfils the business purpose and ensures its financial stability. In this article, we are going to discuss how to become corporate executive.

Production Manager

Quality controller.

A quality controller plays a crucial role in an organisation. He or she is responsible for performing quality checks on manufactured products. He or she identifies the defects in a product and rejects the product. 

A quality controller records detailed information about products with defects and sends it to the supervisor or plant manager to take necessary actions to improve the production process.

Production Engineer

A career as a Production Engineer is crucial in the manufacturing industry. He or she ensures the functionality of production equipment and machinery to improve productivity and minimise production costs to drive revenues and increase profitability. 

Product Designer

Individuals who opt for a career as product designers are responsible for designing the components and overall product concerning its shape, size, and material used in manufacturing. They are responsible for the aesthetic appearance of the product. A product designer uses his or her creative skills to give a product its final outlook and ensures the functionality of the design. 

Students can opt for various product design degrees such as B.Des and M.Des to become product designers. Industrial product designer prepares 3D models of designs for approval and discusses them with clients and other colleagues. Individuals who opt for a career as a product designer estimate the total cost involved in designing.

Commercial Manager

A Commercial Manager negotiates, advises and secures information about pricing for commercial contracts. He or she is responsible for developing financial plans in order to maximise the business's profitability.

AWS Solution Architect

An AWS Solution Architect is someone who specializes in developing and implementing cloud computing systems. He or she has a good understanding of the various aspects of cloud computing and can confidently deploy and manage their systems. He or she troubleshoots the issues and evaluates the risk from the third party. 

Azure Administrator

An Azure Administrator is a professional responsible for implementing, monitoring, and maintaining Azure Solutions. He or she manages cloud infrastructure service instances and various cloud servers as well as sets up public and private cloud systems. 

Information Security Manager

Individuals in the information security manager career path involves in overseeing and controlling all aspects of computer security. The IT security manager job description includes planning and carrying out security measures to protect the business data and information from corruption, theft, unauthorised access, and deliberate attack 

Computer Programmer

Careers in computer programming primarily refer to the systematic act of writing code and moreover include wider computer science areas. The word 'programmer' or 'coder' has entered into practice with the growing number of newly self-taught tech enthusiasts. Computer programming careers involve the use of designs created by software developers and engineers and transforming them into commands that can be implemented by computers. These commands result in regular usage of social media sites, word-processing applications and browsers.

ITSM Manager

It consultant.

An IT Consultant is a professional who is also known as a technology consultant. He or she is required to provide consultation to industrial and commercial clients to resolve business and IT problems and acquire optimum growth. An IT consultant can find work by signing up with an IT consultancy firm, or he or she can work on their own as independent contractors and select the projects he or she wants to work on.

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  • Gender Equality Essay


Introduction to Gender Equality

In a society, everyone has the right to lead his/her life accordingly without any discrimination. When this state is achieved where all individuals are considered to be equal irrespective of their caste, gender, colour, profession, and status, we call it equality. Equality can also be defined as the situation where every individual has the same rights and equal opportunity to grow and prosper. 

Every individual of society dreams for equal rights and access to resources available at their disposal, but there is a lot of discrimination. This discrimination can be due to cultural differences, geographical differences, the colour of the individual, social status and even gender. The most prevalent discrimination is gender inequality. It is not a localised issue and is limited to only certain spheres of life but is prevalent across the globe. Even in progressive societies and top organisations, we can see many examples of gender bias. 

Gender equality can only be achieved when both male and female individuals are treated similarly. But discrimination is a social menace that creates division. We stop being together and stand together to tackle our problems. This social stigma has been creeping into the underbelly of all of society for many centuries. This has also been witnessed in gender-based cases. Gender inequality is the thing of the past as both men and women are creating history in all segments together.

Gender Equality builds a Nation

In this century, women and men enjoy the same privileges. The perception is changing slowly but steadily. People are now becoming more aware of their rights and what they can do in a free society. It has been found that when women and men hold the same position and participate equally, society progresses exclusively and creates a landmark. When a community reaches gender equality, everyone enjoys the same privileges and gets similar scopes in education, health, occupation, and political aspect. Even in the family, when both male and female members are treated in the same way, it is the best place to grow, learn, and add great value.

A nation needs to value every gender equally to progress at the right place. A society attains better development in all aspects when both genders are entitled to similar opportunities. Equal rights in decision making, health, politics, infrastructure, profession, etc will surely advance our society to a new level. The social stigma of women staying inside the house has changed. Nowadays, girls are equally competing with boys in school. They are also creating landmark development in their respective profession. Women are now seeking economic independence before they get married. It gives them the confidence to stand against oppression and make better decisions for themselves.

The age-old social structure dictated that women need to stay inside the home taking care of all when men go out to earn bread and butter. This has been practised for ages when the world outside was not safe. Now that the time has changed and we have successfully made our environment quite safer, women can step forward, get educated, pursue their passion, bring economic balance in their families, and share the weight of a family with men. This, in a cumulative way, will also make a country’s economy progress faster and better.

Methods to measure Gender Equality

Gender equality can be measured and a country’s growth can be traced by using the following methods.

Gender Development Index (GDI) is a gender-based calculation done similar to the Human Development Index. 

Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is a detailed calculation method of the percentage of female members in decision-making roles. 

Gender Equity Index (GEI) considers economic participation, education, and empowerment.

Global Gender Gap Index assesses the level of gender inequality present on the basis of four criteria: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health and survival .

According to the Gender Gap Index (GGI), India ranks 140 among 156 participating countries. This denotes that the performance of India has fallen from the previous years, denoting negative growth in terms of closing the gender gap. In the current environment where equality and equal opportunities are considered supreme, this makes India be at a significant disadvantage.

Roadblocks to Gender Equality  

Indian society is still wrecked by such stigmas that dictate that women are meant to manage the home and stay indoors. This is being done for ages, leading to neglect of women in areas like education, health, wealth, and socio-economic fields. 

In addition to that, the dowry system is further crippling society. This ill practice had led to numerous female feticides. It has created a notion that girls are a burden on a family, which is one of the primary reasons a girl child cannot continue her education. Even if they excel in education and become independent, most of them are forced to quit their job as their income is considered a backup source, which is not fair. New-age women are not only independent, but they are confident too. The only thing they demand from society is support, which we should provide them.  

Along with dowry, there is one more burning issue that has a profound impact on women's growth. It is prevalent in all kinds of society and is known as violence. Violence against women is present in one or another form in public and private spaces. Sometimes, violence is accompanied by other burning issues such as exploitation, harassment, and trafficking, making the world unsafe for women. We must take steps to stop this and ensure a safe and healthy place for women.  

Poverty is also one of the major roadblocks towards gender equality. It has led to other malpractices such as child marriage, sale of children, trafficking and child labour, to name a few. Providing equal job opportunities and upliftment of people below the poverty line can help bring some checks onto this.

Initiative Towards Gender Equality

Any kind of discrimination acts as a roadblock in any nation’s growth, and a nation can only prosper when all its citizens have equal rights. Most of the developed countries has comparatively less gender discrimination and provide equal opportunity to both genders. Even the Indian government is taking multiple initiatives to cut down gender discrimination. 

They have initiated a social campaign called “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana” to encourage the education of girl children. Besides this, the government runs multiple other schemes, such as the Women Helpline Scheme, UJJAWALA, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, etc., to generate awareness among the people. Moreover, as responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to spread knowledge on gender discrimination to create a beautiful world for wome n [1] [2] .


FAQs on Gender Equality Essay

1. What Makes Women Unequal to Men?

The social stigmas and beliefs that have been running deeply in the veins of all families make women unequal to men. Women are considered to be a burden by many families and are not provided with the same rights men enjoy in society. We are ill-informed regarding women’s rights and tend to continue age-old practices. This is made worse with social menaces such as the dowry system, child labor, child marriage, etc. Women can gather knowledge, get educated, and compete with men. This is sometimes quite threatening to the false patriarchal society.

2. How can We Promote Gender Equality?

Education is the prime measure to be taken to make society free from such menaces. When we teach our new generation regarding the best social practices and gender equal rights, we can eradicate such menaces aptly. Our society is ill-informed regarding gender equality and rights. Many policies have been designed and implemented by the government. As our country holds the second position in terms of population, it is hard to tackle these gender-based problems. It can only be erased from the deepest point by using education as the prime weapon.

3. Why should Women be Equal to Men?

Women might not be similar to men in terms of physical strength and physiological traits. Both are differently built biologically but they have the same brain and organs to function. Women these days are creating milestones that are changing society. They have traveled to space, running companies, creating history, and making everyone proud. Women are showing their capabilities in every phase and hence, they should be equal to men in all aspects.

4. Mention a few initiatives started by the Indian Government to enable gender equality.

The Indian government has initiated a social campaign called “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana” to encourage girls’ education. Besides this, the government runs multiple other schemes, such as the  Women Helpline Scheme, UJJAWALA, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, etc., to generate awareness among the people.

Gender Equality Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on gender equality essay.

Equality or non-discrimination is that state where every individual gets equal opportunities and rights. Every individual of the society yearns for equal status, opportunity, and rights. However, it is a general observation that there exists lots of discrimination between humans. Discrimination exists because of cultural differences, geographical differences, and gender. Inequality based on gender is a concern that is prevalent in the entire world.  Even in the 21 st century, across globe men and women do not enjoy equal privileges. Gender equality means providing equal opportunities to both men and women in political, economic, education and health aspects.

gender equality essay

Importance of Gender Equality

A nation can progress and attain higher development growth only when both men and women are entitled to equal opportunities. Women in the society are often cornered and are refrained from getting equal rights as men to health, education, decision-making and economic independence in terms of wages.

The social structure that prevails since long in such a way that girls do not get equal opportunities as men. Women generally are the caregivers in the family. Because of this, women are mostly involved in household activities. There is lesser participation of women in higher education, decision-making roles, and leadership roles. This gender disparity is a hindrance in the growth rate of a country. When women participate in the workforce increases the economic growth rate of the country increases. Gender equality increases the overall wellbeing of the nation along with economic prosperity .

How is Gender Equality Measured?

Gender equality is an important factor in determining a country’s overall growth. There are several indexes to measure gender equality.

Gender-Related Development Index (GDI) –   GDI is a gender centric measure of Human Development Index. GDI considers parameters like life expectancy, education, and incomes in assessing the gender equality of a country.

Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) – This measure includes much detail aspects like the proportion of seats than women candidates hold in national parliament, percentage of women at economic decision-making role, the income share of female employees.

Gender Equity Index (GEI) – GEI ranks countries on three parameters of gender inequality, those are education, economic participation, and empowerment. However, GEI ignores the health parameter.

Global Gender Gap Index – The World Economic Forum introduced the Global Gender Gap Index in 2006. This index focuses more on identifying the level of female disadvantage. The four important areas that the index considers are economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health, and survival rate.

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Gender Inequality in India

As per the World Economic Forum’s gender gap ranking, India stands at rank 108 out of 149 countries. This rank is a major concern as it highlights the immense gap in opportunities in women with comparison to men. In Indian society from a long time back, the social structure has been such that the women are neglected in many areas like education, health, decision-making areas, financial independence, etc.

Another major reason, which contributes to the discriminatory behavior towards women in India, is the dowry system in marriage.  Because of this dowry system, most Indian families consider girls as a burden.  Preference for son still prevails. Girls have refrained from higher education. Women are not entitled to equal job opportunities and wages. In the 21 st century, women are still preferred gender in home managing activities. Many women quit their job and opt-out from leadership roles because of family commitments. However, such actions are very uncommon among men.

For overall wellbeing and growth of a nation, scoring high on gender equality is the most crucial aspect. Countries with less disparity in gender equality have progressed a lot. The government of India has also started taking steps to ensure gender equality. Several laws and policies are prepared to encourage girls. “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana ” (Save girl, and make girls educated) campaign is created to spread awareness of the importance of girl child.  Several laws to protect girls are also there. However, we need more awareness of spreading knowledge of women rights . In addition, the government should take initiatives to check the correct and proper implementation of policies.

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Ideas, Progress & the Future

So, do men benefit from gender equality.

There are a lot of angry people out there who equate feminism and gender equality as something that advantages women at the cost of men. As research by the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation found, an astonishing 42% of men believe workplace strategies to address gender equality do not take men into account.

The fact is men will benefit from any progress towards gender equality, in terms of their personal wellbeing, their relationships with others and in how workplaces and communities function.

Australia is a gender-unequal society. If we look honestly at our patterns of political power, economic decision-making, cultural representation, and men’s and women’s everyday lives and relations, we can see a widespread pattern of gender inequality. Gender inequalities are sustained in part by men – by men’s attitudes, behaviours, and relations.

Gender inequalities are sustained and reproduced day after day, in part by men. By how many men think, by how many men behave, by how men relate to women and how they relate to other men.

Now often we understand gender inequality in terms of female disadvantage. But the flipside of this is male advantage.

People often talk about gender inequality in terms of women’s disadvantage, discrimination against women, or women’s exclusion from economic decision-making and political power. But the flipside of this is men’s privilege, a longstanding program of affirmative action for men, and men’s monopoly of power.

In fact, male privilege is personal. Male privilege is everyday. Many men do sexism in our everyday lives, in a myriad of ways. Myself included. I think of times when I’ve left the burdens of domestic work to women, whined when a girlfriend didn’t feel like sex or underestimated women’s achievements and skills.

Not all men are privileged, and not all women are disadvantaged. Men’s lives, like women’s, are shaped by intersecting forms of privilege and disadvantage, to do with gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and so on. Some groups of men are deeply disadvantaged – not because they are men, but because they are members of other, disadvantaged social categories.

Even when we men are not actively being sexist, we benefit from male privilege. Men benefit from male privilege (the unearned advantages of an unequal system), whether we want to or not.

As a man, when I open my mouth, my views often are given more weight than a woman’s views. When I send in my CV or have a job interview, I am likely to be seen as more competent, because I am male, than a woman with the same skills and experience. I’m a father, and if I work long hours at work, it’s unlikely that anyone will think I’m being selfish and neglecting my children.

If I’m a senior leader, there is no tension between my gender and my role. As a man, I’m assertive, but she’s bossy. I’m enthusiastic, but she’s emotional. When I take tough decisions, I’m confident or firm, but her, she’s a bitch.

Gender inequalities are personal and interpersonal. But they are also organisational and structural. They are built into the structures, processes, and cultures of workplaces: their divisions of labour, their decision-making, their informal norms and expectations.

But the privileges given to men by these structures and processes are naturalised and normalised. They are invisible. So members of privileged groups think that our achievements are the result of our efforts and skills, not the unearned advantages of an unequal system.

Why should men promote gender equality? Above all, because it's the fair and right thing to do. Men receive unfair and unjust privileges, so we have an ethical obligation to address that privilege. Ultimately, men will also benefit.

We will benefit from progress towards gender equality. It will benefit our personal well-being by freeing us from the costs of masculine conformity: poor health, shallow relationships and early death. It will benefit our relationships and friendships. And it will benefit our workplaces and communities with more flexible divisions of labour, reductions in violence against women, workplaces with greater productivity, creativity, and diversity.

Men – men who care for women, men who care for justice and equality, and men who care for the wellbeing of our communities and society – must act to end gender inequality. And if we do, men will benefit. If we can make progress towards gender equality, then women will have better lives, and so will men.

Words by Michael Flood.

Originally posted on BroadAgenda .

Join us for our first in the 2020 BroadAgenda Public Talk Series - Emancipation of Men: Masculinity at Crossroads - featuring speakers Phil Barker, Jane Caro, Dr Michael Flood and Elise Stephenson, at Ann Harding Centre, University of Canberra on 13 February 5.30–7.30. Register here .

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benefits of gender equality essay

Gender Equality Essay

500+ words gender equality essay.

Every citizen has the right to live their life according to their wish without any discrimination. It can be achieved when all individuals are considered equal irrespective of caste, religion, language, colour, profession, status and sex. The most prominent discrimination that we observe is gender inequality. Even in many developed countries, we see several examples of gender bias, which need to be urgently addressed. Gender equality can only be achieved when both males and females are treated equally. With the help of this essay on Gender Equality, students will know what gender equality is and how it can be achieved in society. This essay will also provide an overview of the different types of problems women face due to gender discrimination.

Gender Equality

Gender equality refers to equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for both women and men. It implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration, recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men. Worldwide, women’s fundamental rights continue to be violated, and they face discrimination in access to education, work, social protection, inheritance, economic assets, productive resources, and participation in decision-making and society. Women spend two to ten times more time on unpaid work than men, which is one of the main obstacles to economic and political empowerment.

Persistent differences and disparities between men and women have negative implications for society as a whole. Women represent half the resources and half the potential in any society. This potential remains unrealized when women are constrained by inequality and discrimination. Many gender disparities emerge in early childhood and intensify in adolescence. Girls are deprived of access to health care or proper nutrition, leading to a higher mortality rate. As they move into the age of adolescence, gender disparities widen. Child marriage affects girls far more than boys. Globally, nearly 15 million girls under age 18 are married every year. It’s difficult for them to access education. Girls still face barriers to entry into primary and secondary school. The lack of education provided limits access to skills and jobs in good organisations and at reputed posts.

How to Achieve Gender Equality in India?

Women’s and girls’ education is a vital component that helps in gender equality. By obtaining proper education, the door to many new opportunities will open up for women. They get skilled and can easily find employment. Employment will empower them and give them financial independence, alternative sources of social identity, and exposure to power structures independent of kin networks. It will give them the independence to make decisions of their own choice. The path of gender equality can be further reduced at work by reducing the gender pay, earnings and pension gaps.

Another crucial step towards gender equality is eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spheres. Apart from it, it is essential to eliminate all harmful practices by society, such as early and forced marriage, the dowry system, etc. We should try to make our environment and surroundings more safe and healthy for women and girls.

Women should try to come into power through leadership roles in all sectors. This will increase the presence of women in different fields and motivate other women and girls. Power in the hands of women will ensure their full and effective participation at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. Women’s equal rights to economic resources also promote gender rquality. They get access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources through this right.

India ranks 112 in the Global Gender Gap index among 153 countries. Due to this, the Government has also taken various steps to promote Gender Equality. They launch various women empowerment schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme, One Stop Centre Scheme, Women Helpline Scheme, UJJAWALA, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, National Mission for Empowerment of Women etc.

Did you find “Essay on Gender Equality” useful for your English exam? Do let us know your view in the comment section. Keep Learning, and don’t forget to download the BYJU’S App for more interesting study videos.

Frequently Asked Questions on Gender Equality Essay

What are the main indexes to measure gender inequality.

According to the World Health Organization, the Gender Inequality Index indicates disparities in three main aspects as given below: 1. Reproductive health: The health dimension is measured by the maternal mortality ratio and the adolescent fertility rate.

2. Empowerment: The empowerment dimension is measured by the share of parliamentary seats held by each gender, and by secondary and higher education attainment levels.

3. Labour market: The labour dimension is measured by women’s participation in the workforce.

How can we improve gender equality?

1. Educate girls: The government should take steps to ensure that girls get equal opportunities in the education system. This can be done by giving scholarships, sensitising parents, ensuring amenities like toilets, etc.

2. Allow women to have equal economic rights: Women should be given equal pay for equal work in the employment sector.

3. Avoid violence and sexual harassment against women: Laws should be enacted and strictly enforced to prevent violence and sexual harassment against women

4. Spread awareness about child marriage: Social evils like child marriage can be eradicated from society by raising awareness about their ill effects on the social, physical and emotional well-being of girls.

How to help children understand this issue?

Awareness programmes and campaigns can be organised to sensitise society about the negative effects of gender inequality. After all, no society can progress by ignoring the rights of half of its population, which is made up of women. Governments should ensure that boys and girls are treated equally in schools. Students must be taught how to mutually respect each other.

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    Gender equality can only be achieved when both males and females are treated equally. With the help of this essay on Gender Equality, students will know what gender equality is and how it can be achieved in society. This essay will also provide an overview of the different types of problems women face due to gender discrimination. Gender Equality

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