Today is International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. And it is also a call to attain gender equality—also known as gender parity—around the globe.
One way to measure gender equality is by looking at the global gender gap. The gender gap is the difference between women and men as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments. The World Economic Forum uses the Global Gender Gap Index to measure the gap between women and men in four key areas: health, education, economics, and politics.
Based on the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), globally, the average distance completed to parity (that is, how closely do data for men and women align) is at 68%. The gender gap in political empowerment is the largest of the four areas, being measured as just 22% closed. Economic participation and opportunity follows at 58%. The gender gap in both educational attainment and health/survival is nearly closed, at 95%. Based on these measures and the current rate of progress, WEF estimated it will take nearly 136 years to close the gender gap worldwide. Shocking, isn’t it?
The good news is that this is just an estimate based on the current rate of progress. We can do more as individuals, as a society, and as a country. We can all be part of the solution. It would be great if, at least in my daughter’s lifetime, the gap between women and men was completely closed in the four key areas measured by WEF.
Join me to celebrate International Women’s Day and supporting this year’s United Nations-stated theme: “gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow.” I would like to celebrate the great contributions that other UF/IFAS Extension agents—especially women—have made toward sustainability and climate adaptation.
And if you want to learn more about International Women’s Day, and things that you could do to reduce the gap between women and men, visit the United Nations Women’s Day website.