Linked inTwitter

We actively monitor change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

A Mundane Comedy is Dom Kelleher's new book. Extracts will appear on this site and across social media from late 2021. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter in late 2021 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

What's Changing? - Gender

Gender

 

Please see below recent gender-related change.

 

See also:

 

October 2021

 

September 2021

 

June 2021

  • Most G20 nations had made progress on increasing women’s participation rates, but the pandemic unravelled it. Women were disproportionately hit harder when it comes to unemployment, and shouldered the larger burden of unpaid work.

 

April 2021

 

March 2021

  • The Futures Centre had identified a trend it called ‘The Female Century’ - referencing the wealth of indicators that nearly all pointed in one direction - towards the steadily increasing emancipation of women. But now, in the wake of COVID-19, that trend has taken a serious hit. A lot of signals now point in a very different direction - the risk of a 25 year setback in gender equality, globally, noted GZERO Media.
  • Violence against women skyrocketed across the world since the start of the pandemic, said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, explaining that COVID-19 has turned back the clock on the global fight for gender equality and the toll that it has taken on girls, in particular. In fact, the UN estimates that as many as 11 million girls who left school because of the pandemic will never return. At the same time, it is women primarily who have been getting the world through the worst pandemic, as they occupy the majority of frontline and healthcare jobs.
  • Women make up just over half the human population, and yet the overwhelming majority of policymakers and political leaders in the world's governments are men. In fact, there are just three countries on earth where women make up more than 50% of the national legislature, and only 23 countries out of 193 UN member states in which a woman is either head of state or head of government. While some countries have introduced gender quotas at various stages in the electoral process as a bid to increase female participation, there's lots of progress still to be made, noted GZERO Media.
  • Bulgaria was named the best country in Europe for women's career prospects, according to a study by marketing firm Reboot Online. Countries were compared on a range of measures that facilitate women’s careers, including the gender pay gap, access to leadership roles and maternity leave.
  • Volvo Cars launched a gender neutral parental leave policy for its global workforce following a two-year trial. Any new parent who has been at the firm for at least a year can take 24 weeks off within the first three years at 80% of their pay. The Swedish carmaker used to follow local policies, which created big discrepancies among staff. The “Family Bond” programme is meant to help the company attract and retain talent as well as drive up female management by reducing the stigma of taking time off.

 

December 2020

  • During the Covid-19 crisis, Harvard Business Review heard anecdotally about women leaders doing a better job and research seems to back that up. One study found that outcomes related to Covid-19, including number of cases and deaths, were systematically better in countries led by women. Another looked at governors in the U.S. and similarly found that states with female leaders had lower fatality rates. 

 

November 2020

 

October 2020

 

September 2020

  • The McKinsey Global Institute issued The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth. MGI’s report showed that gender inequities are not only a moral and social conundrum but also an economic one: women accounted for half the world’s working-age population but for only 37 percent of GDP. That discrepancy robs the global economy of $12 trillion in wealth we could share if each country improved gender equality as quickly as the fastest-improving country in its region did. True gender equality everywhere would raise global GDP by up to $28 trillion.
  • The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic would push 47 million women and girls into poverty in 2021. A UN report said that more women than men have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, while women and girls at most risk of becoming poor are those in subsistence-level occupations in the informal sector in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In a major step towards greater gender equality in sport, Brazil's football association announced that women playing for the national football team will get paid the same as the members of the men's squad. Brazil follows women's national football team players winning the right to equal pay with their male counterparts in AustraliaNorwayNew Zealand and the UK
  • At least 740 million women, 58 percent of the global female labor force, are employed in the "informal economy" — jobs that are not officially registered and therefore are mostly not eligible for benefits or social safety net provisions. (Nearly a fifth of all workers in the US have jobs in the informal sector, according to GZEROMedia.)
  • By McKinsey's calculation, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the coronavirus crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses. One reason for this greater effect on women is that the virus is significantly increasing the burden of unpaid care, which is disproportionately carried by women. This, among other factors, means that women’s employment is dropping faster than average, even accounting for the fact that women and men work in different sectors
  • Indeed, research shows that women also still shoulder the majority of unpaid domestic care work. That means that in places where schools and daycares were (or are) closed, childcare responsibilities have overwhelmingly fallen on women, preventing them from re-entering the workforce. There's precedent for this, too. Data shows that after the recent Ebola epidemic in Africa (2013-2016), women were disproportionately affected by job losses and took way longer to land steady jobs again after the crisis.
  • More men than women use the internet in all regions of the world except in the Americas. The digital gender gap is actually growing in some parts of the world, and almost nowhere is it more glaring than in India, where conservative attitudes in some parts of the country ban women and girls from using smartphones or social media, reported GZEROMedia.

 

August 2020

  • August 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, through which American women won the right to vote in federal and state elections. After New Zealand pioneered universal suffrage in 1893, almost all other countries followed suit - although in many cases, the right to vote was not extended to all women in society until many years later.

 

July 2020

  • As COVID-19 continues to affect lives and livelihoods around the world, McKinsey warned that the pandemic and its economic fallout are having a regressive effect on gender equality. By our calculation, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses. One reason for this greater effect on women is that the virus is significantly increasing the burden of unpaid care, which is disproportionately carried by women.

 

June 2020

  • An essayist for Vox never realised how much urban planning is centred around male breadwinners until she got pregnant. Suddenly, just trying to get to work every day became a daunting expedition, and things didn’t improve once her child was born. In an essay for Vox, she asked how cities could be designed differently - from transportation to street lights - so women feel more comfortable and safe navigating their streets.

 

April 2020

  • Across 34 countries surveyed by Pew, a median of 74 percent of respondents agree that it is "very important" for women to have the same rights as men. Western Europe, the US, and Latin America led the pack. The poll also showed that women were more inclined than men to say gender equality is important.

 

March 2020

  • In previous wars, men represented the combatants, suffered most of the casualties and did virtually all of the killing (of civilian and soldier alike). In the war against coronavirus, the front line is the doctors and nurses - 75% of our warriors are women.
  • Women and girls face a “growing crisis” of online harms, with sexual harassment, threatening messages and discrimination making the web an unsafe place to be, warned Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The inventor of the world wide web said the “dangerous trend” in online abuse was forcing women out of jobs, causing girls to skip school, damaging relationships and silencing female opinions, prompting him to conclude that “the web is not working for women and girls”.

 

January 2020

  • The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women announced its 100,000 Women Campaign, which aims to raise £10 million ($13 million) for women entrepreneurs over the next three years.

 

December 2019

 

November 2019

 

October 2019

 

September 2019

 

August 2019

 

July 2019

 

June 2019

  • The worst countries in the world to be a woman are mainly places torn apart by war, or societies stifled by centuries of male patriarchy: India currently tops the global ranking of the most dangerous countries for women.
  • Swedish automaker Volvo Cars announced the pilot of a gender neutral parental leave policy for sales employees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Mothers and fathers, same-sex parents, and parents of adopted children will all be offered up to six months of leave at 80% pay, a benefit the company says is the most generous and inclusive in the industry. 
  • Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. If women - who account for half the world’s working-age population - do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer. While all types of inequality have economic consequences, in McKinsey's The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth, report focused on the economic implications of lack of parity between men and women.
  • Up to 160 million women globally may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. To weather this disruption, women (and men) need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy, but women face pervasive barriers on each, and will need targeted support to move forward in the world of work. A McKinsey Global Institute report, The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation found that if women make these transitions, they could be on the path to more productive, better-paid work. If they cannot, they could face a growing wage gap or be left further behind when progress toward gender parity in work is already slow.
  • The computer science field is so dominated by men that, at current rates of progress it would take until the year 2137 for the number of papers written by women to equal those written by their male colleagues, according to a study cited by Axios Future.
  • Further reading:

 

May 2019

 

March 2019

  • For GZEROMedia, International Women's Day offers each year a time to celebrate global progress in securing equal opportunity and rights for women while also recognising the persistent inequalities they still face, For example, in the world of work: in the past half century, the percentage of women in the workplace has doubled in many Western societies. That said, persistent gaps remain in how much men and women earn.
  • Indeed, while working conditions have improved significantly since a strike by 15,000 female garment workers in New York City in 1908, which led to the creation of International Women’s Day, but the median pay gap for full-time working women is still around 14% and figures from The Economist’s 2019 glass-ceiling index, which measures where women have the best chance of equal treatment at work, showed that, after decades of improvement, progress for women in the workplace has recently stalled.
  • Claiming that there is no such thing as a "female brain", Quartz argued that a neuroscientist’s debunking of a sexist myth could do more for gender equality than any number of feminist manifestos.
  • For decades, women have been discriminated against in the modern workplace. Harassed and underpaid, working women have often been forced to accept lower wages,  and lower odds of being hired or promoted, and, in spite of progress, this disparity persists today. However, Quartz warned that the gender pay gap is about more than just discrimination. Cultural norms ins some countries may influence a perception that women are less flexible employees who may not stick around.
  • The #SafePlaces movement had by 2019 seen more than 300 restaurants and bars in Mexico City commit to offer women shelter if they found themselves in danger. #SafePlaces was a response to rising rates of femicide, harassment and kidnapping in Mexico. Participating establishments trained their staff on how to attend to women in dangerous situations, and committed to let victims call the police or a taxi from their business. Women can find a local #SafePlace in a public Google doc.
  • Q, created in 2019, was reportedly the world’s first genderless voice. It was created to end gender bias in AI assistants. Major technology companies, not to mention banks, airlines, hotels and retailers exclusively choose between male and female voices when developing virtual assistants. The creators of Q believe this reinforces a binary view of gender and perpetuates stereotypes. In their words: “As society continues to break down the gender binary, recognising those who neither identify as male nor female, the technology we create should follow”. 

 

January 2019

 

December 2018

 

November 2018

  • Companies report that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress. The proportion of women at every level in corporate life has hardly changed in some of the most developed countries. Progress isn’t just slow. It’s stalled, found McKinsey in Women in the Workplace 2018, a study conducted in partnership with LeanIn.Org. 
  • Quartz’s year-long examination of the fight for gender equality at work profiled 50 men around the world and in a variety of fields who opened up to about Me Too, feminism, their biggest insecurities about being a man, and the biased behaviours they would take back if they could.
  • About 20% of China’s civil-service jobs explicitly seek male candidates, noted Quartz. Of nearly 10,000 postings analyzed, not a single one stated a preference for women.

 

October 2018

 

September 2018

 

August 2018

  • Quartz News travelled to South Korea to explore the symbiotic relationship between the global #MeToo movement and local feminist revolutions around the world.

 

July 2018

  • The Global Gender Gap Index measures differences between men and women in four key areas: health, education, economics, and politics. According to the World Economic Forum’s analysis of 144 countries, women around the world experience a gap in pay, and with the current rate of progress, the United Nations estimates it will take another 100 years to close the gap. 
  • The gender employment gap in the technology sector is especially acute. Women earn only 28 percent of computer science degrees and hold only 25 percent of computing jobs. They also hold only 11 percent of executive positions at Silicon Valley companies.
  • According to SingularityHub, according to various studies, there is a sharp decline in women’s earnings (men in comparison do not experience the same drop) after the birth of their first child. This has a massive cumulative effect on the gender pay gap as a whole. Mothers are less likely to get offered jobs with significant travel and long hours due to negative perceptions about their ability to take on greater responsibilities. Another major issue is the lack of work flexibility for caregivers, who often want remote work options or flexible hours.
  • However, the emerging contingent workforce is providing a much-needed solution to this problem by breaking down physical, geographic, and social barriers within the workforce. Remote work platforms allow millions of women to work from anywhere in the world for anyone in the world. Platforms like SheWorks! and PowerToFly allow women to access remote work opportunities while allowing companies to manage their remote workforce with transparency and accountability.
  • Some parents are choosing to raise their children gender-neutral. In How We'll Win: The Next Generation, Quartz examined how more and more parents are abandoning traditional gender norms for their children in hopes of raising a more well-rounded generation.
  • However, Quartz also warned that the "best books are rife" with gender bias. An analysis of Booker Prize shortlists found male characters are often doctors while women are portrayed as prostitutes.
  • Men and women sleep better in gender-equal societies, claimed Quartz. Sharing the worry over finances and childcare makes both sexes more rested.
  • Gender is even more complicated than we thought, according to a cover story for the Atlantic, which deep dived into the struggle of “detransitioners” (the men and women who have transitioned, only to return to the sex of their birth). 
  • Music streaming platform Spotify teamed up with Fundación Triángulo – a non-profit organisation promoting LGBT and gender equality – to launch an anti-harassment advert that turns the tables on male harassers. The ad features a female voice ‘complimenting’ the listener – afterwards a male voice explains: “You have just been harassed and you have not been able to skip this ad. The same thing happens to women who endure an average of one minute of harassment a day. Do not harass, respect.”

 

June 2018

Timelines
Spaces
Signifiers