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A Mundane Comedy is Dom Kelleher's new book, which will be published in late 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

The 52:52:52 project, launching on this site and on social media later in 2024, will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

This site addresses what's changing, at the personal, organisational and societal levels. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 elements of life, from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and much more besides, which will help you better prepare for related change in your own life.

Halcyon In Kaleidoscope features irregular and fragmentary writings - on ideas and values, places and people - which evolve over time into mini essais, paying humble homage to the peerless founder of the genre. The kaleidoscope is Halcyon's prime metaphor, viewing the world through ever-moving lenses.

What's Changing? - Gender



Please see below recent gender-related change.


See also:


June 2024


April 2024


March 2024

  • Despite all the progress that has been made, it will still take 131 years to reach full gender parity (i.e. closing the differences between men and women in work, leadership, and education), according to the World Economic Forum. Out of all regions, Europe has the highest gender parity at 76.3%, followed by North America (75%). The Middle East and North Africa (62.6%) is the region the furthest away from parity.
  • Rising childcare costs pose a risk to women's progress. As the expense has increased over the last several decades, the percentage of women in the workforce has stalled in some major economies. 
  • For most of history, scientific study was based almost entirely on men - e.g. the US government didn’t even require women to be included in medical research until the 1990s. This has led to knowledge gaps on diseases disproportionately affecting women, like multiple sclerosis or endometriosis, and minimal understanding of conditions that affect women differently from men, like post-menopausal rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The growing gulf between young men and women in developed countries is striking. Polling data from 20 such countries showed that, whereas two decades ago there was little difference between the share of men and women aged 18-29 who described themselves as liberal rather than conservative, the gap has grown to 25 percentage points. Young men also seem more anti-feminist than older men, bucking the trend for each generation to be more liberal than its predecessor


January 2024

  • Gender inequality costs the world approximately US$12 trillion in global gross domestic product, with some countries experiencing up to a 35% loss. It will take an estimated 169 years to close the economic gender gap, as measured by the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report. Progress in closing this gap has been further hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding the impact on women in leadership and gender gaps in earnings.
  • In countries on every continent, an ideological gap has opened up between young men and women. Tens of millions of people who occupy the same cities, workplaces, classrooms and even homes no longer see eye-to-eye. In the US, Gallup data showed that after decades where the sexes were each spread roughly equally across liberal and conservative world views, women aged 18 to 30 are now 30% more liberal than their male contemporaries. Germany also now shows a 30-point gap between increasingly conservative young men and progressive female contemporaries, and in the UK the gap is 25%,


November 2023

  • Science’s gender gap is shrinking, according to an analysis of scientific papers by Stanford University. Its researchers looked at the most cited 5.8m authors across all scientific disciplines. They found that men outnumbered women 3.93 times among those who started publishing before 1992, but only 1.36 times among authors who started publishing after 2011. However, a lack of female representation in science is not only a problem for women. The UN has warned that a lack of gender equality is likely holding back solutions in areas ranging from the climate crisis to health. 
  • Many of the UK's biggest companies have failed to tackle barriers that keep women from progressing in their careers, a report found. The Women Count report, produced by The Pipeline – an organisation that promotes women in business – revealed that women held just one in five commercial roles on the boards of FTSE 350 firms. While progress had been made in the number of women in executive committee roles, it also found that for every woman in a senior commercial role on a FTSE 100 board there were three men. In the FTSE 100, only 13% had a female CEO, and within the wider FTSE 350, that percentage dropped to just 9%. 


October 2023

  • Women's economic participation and purchasing power reached new heights in 2023, a shift being coined the "sheconomy" by some. Data shows that women bumped up the world's largest economy by 0.5%. Meanwhile, cultural touchstones like the Barbie movie, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift tours and the elevation of women's sports also signalled a macro shift. Brands expect that by 2028, women will account for 75% of discretionary spending such as dining out, hobbies, travel, and personal care. 
  • In many countries, trying to communicate in a gender-neutral way can stump even proficient linguists. In English the pronouns “they” and “them” have been adopted to refer to non-binary people, but for the 40% of the world’s languages that use grammatical gender - where nouns are assigned to gender categories - it’s not as simple.
  • Melinda French Gates told The Economist that gender equality, in particular women’s economic empowerment, is a vital part of the solution to the challenges we face, with a clear correlation between women’s economic agency and poverty reduction. French Gates notes the tension between women in emerging economies’ dependence on starting a business as a prime way of earning an income, and the numerous barriers - from lack of access to startup capital, high interest rates, their lack of credit histories and gender discrimination in credit decisions - that make doing so incredibly difficult. 


September 2023

  • The Open University carried out the UK’s largest ever study into societal attitudes and experiences of online violence against women and girls. Findings revealed that more than one in 10 women in England have experienced online violence, with this figure increasing amongst those aged 16 to 24 (25%) and LGB+ women (35%). Of those women who had experienced online violence, more than one in 10 (13%) said it later progressed to offline violence. Online anonymity (49%), ease of getting away with it (47%) and misogyny (43%) top the most commonly perceived reasons for why people commit online violence against women and girls.


June 2023


May 2023


March 2023

  • The pandemic set back decades of progress towards gender equality, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation. On average, women are currently paid 20% less than men globally. Significant gender wage gap disparities continue in many of the world’s developed countries, which still have gender wage gaps above the global average, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • Germany made headlines when Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock unveiled a new feminist foreign policy framework, outlining Berlin's efforts to boost female participation in international affairs. It directed an additional 12 billion euros in development funds to further global gender equality and said that Berlin will work to ensure that European foreign policy focuses more on the needs of women worldwide.
  • This move links to the idea that increasing the number of women working in foreign policy reduces conflict and enhances peaceful outcomes. A look at the impact of having women negotiators, mediators, and witnesses involved in 182 peace agreements from 1989-2011, for example, shows that those deals involving females were 35% more likely to survive at least 15 years, according to a report by the International Peace Institute.
  • Flexible, hybrid work arrangements can play a key role in bringing women back into the workforce. A study from TUC found that more than 1.46 million women in the UK are unable to work alongside their family commitments, compared with around 230,000 men. The union says there should be a “duty on employers to list the possible flexible working options for each job when it is advertised”.


February 2023


December 2022


October 2022

  • Increasing the number of women in executive roles at the UK's top 350 firms could boost the economy by £58bn. According to the Women Count 2022 report, firms are missing out on billons of pounds in pre-tax profits due to a lack of gender diversity across their leadership teams. Overall, the report found that:
    • Three quarters of executive committee members at FTSE 350 listed companies are male.
    • Some 96% of chief executives are also male.
    • Only 16% of profit and loss positions – roles that have a direct responsibility for a company's profitability – are held by women.
    • There are no women on the executive committees of 10% of the companies.
    • Almost 70% of firms have no female executive directors at all on their main boards of directors.


September 2022

  • At the current rate of progress, the UN estimates it will take nearly 300 years before women and girls achieve global gender equality. There are numerous ways of measuring the disparity. One is to look at the gender imbalance in unpaid labour, like childcare, housework, and volunteering. In every OECD country, women do much more of this type of work than men.
  • Women managers tend to pay more than their male counterparts, according to a study by Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Using a student sample, researchers examined how upcoming leaders would choose to pay their employees. They found that while both genders answered they would pay themselves the most, female leaders were "more consistent" when it came to choosing fair compensation.
  • 14 American companies pledged to provide at least 500,000 digital training and education opportunities for women and girls in the Indo-Pacific region as part of a public-private initiative. The programe was designed to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth by providing primarily women and girls in emerging economies and middle-income partners access to training and education in digital skills. 


July 2022

  • Reaching gender parity across work, health and politics globally will take c.130 years at the current rate of progress, according to the World Economic Forum. In a report that explored global gender equality across economic opportunity, education, health and political empowerment, Iceland was found to have closed its gender gap the most, with Finland and Norway following. The report highlighted that women's participation in the labour market had been hit by the pandemic, particularly due to the burden of care falling on women, with gender parity globally at its lowest level since 2006.


June 2022


May 2022

  • Spain’s cabinet approved legislation granting paid leave to women experiencing severe menstrual pain, making it the first European country to advance such a bill.


April 2022


March 2022


December 2021


October 2021

  • The pandemic put intense pressure on companies to do more to support employees and act on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Women leaders often took on the extra work that comes with it, but they’re not getting recognised or rewarded for it. As a result, this mission-critical work is in danger of being relegated to “office housework”. Necessary tasks and activities that benefit the company but go unrecognised, are underappreciated, and don’t lead to career advancement, according to the 2021 Women in the Workplace report by and McKinsey.
  • From consumption habits to responsive actions, research suggests that women are the 'greener gender'. For instance, women have a lower carbon footprint than men due to their smaller consumption of meat and lower use of cars. Despite that, they remain underrepresented in 'green jobs,' as women's participation in the power and utilities sector for example remains below 25% of the total workforce, according to EY.
  • Bloomberg analysis of 15 global business hubs compared the respective safety, mobility, maternity provisions, equality and wealth opportunities for women – and found that each city failed in some way. The 15 cities were selected by Bloomberg journalists based on a few criteria: They’re all hubs of commerce in their respective regions, providing a global perspective on gender inequality, and most attract finance and business workers from elsewhere. Bloomberg graded them in five areas: safety, mobility, maternity provisions, equality, and wealth (a measure of earning potential and financial independence) and weighted those equally to form an overall ranking.


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