gill5_LOUISA GOULIAMAKIX07402AFP via Getty Images_women workplace LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/X07402/AFP via Getty Images

When Women Win, the World Wins

Globally, women’s legal rights have improved markedly since 1970, as major reforms have dismantled a wide array of barriers that women face at all stages of their working lives. However, a massive global gender gap remains, and progress in many critical areas appears to have been overestimated.

WASHINGTON, DC – In May 1988, Alejandra Arévalo became the first female geologist to enter an underground mine in Chile. In doing so, she defied a popular myth: that a woman brings bad luck by venturing into a mine. She also broke the law. At the time, Chilean women were forbidden to work in underground mining or in any other job that “exceeded their strength or put at risk their physical or moral condition.” Arévalo’s defiance helped spark a revolution. By 1993, the restrictions on women in mining had been abolished; and by 2022, women represented 15% of the Chilean mining workforce, a threefold increase since 2007.