It will take 132 years to achieve global gender parity, says World Economic Forum report

We are further from gender parity now than before the pandemic.

Before COVID, the World Economic Forum estimated that it would take 100 years to achieve gender equality around the world. These measure economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

Today, the forum’s latest global gender gap report says it will take another 32 years to close the gender gap.

The pandemic has set us back a generation on equality for women, shocking, well, maybe no one: “It’s no surprise to me,” said Emily Andrews of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

“I’m not at all surprised,” said Ruth Martin of the nonprofit MomsRising.

“I wasn’t surprised, of course, incredibly discouraged,” said Michelle Holder, professor of economics at John Jay College.

Even before the pandemic, Andrews said there were huge gender and racial gaps in our workplace (and in society as a whole).

“During the pandemic, women, especially women of color, have faced disproportionately high unemployment rates,” she said. “And on top of that, there’s just a lack of care supports, including paid time off, affordable childcare, that has led to many women quitting their jobs and leaving the workforce.”

And – even though the labor market has largely recovered, it takes longer for women to re-enter the labor market.

“And now they’re coming from a deficit position and just trying to get back to where they were,” Andrews said.

Even less go ahead and achieve parity with men. As the new report from the World Economic Forum shows, “this is not specific to the United States. It happened around the world, as women shouldered a disproportionate share of caregiving responsibilities,” Holder told CUNY.

“The pandemic has really stalled so many things, but it’s so clear that the effect of the pandemic on women in the United States and around the world has been felt more deeply than it has on men in so many different ways.”

And in so many different places. The thing is, Ruth Martin of MomsRising told USA, it’s not like at least some of the solutions are a big secret.

“We must protect our right to access abortion. We need to go on paid family and medical leave. We need to invest in early learning. We need to invest in community supports and services at home…the answer is simple,” Martin said.

But right now, Martin says the United States lacks the political will to make it happen. According to the World Economic Forum, the United States currently ranks 27th in the world for gender parity.

There’s a lot going on in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is there for you.

You rely on Marketplace to break down world events and tell you how it affects you in a factual and accessible way. We count on your financial support to continue to make this possible.

Your donation today fuels the independent journalism you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help maintain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.

Comments are closed.