businesswoman graph Caiaimage/Agnieszka Olek/Getty Images

Data-Driven Gender Equality

If countries were to eliminate gender-based discrimination and guarantee equality by 2030, global GDP would increase by some $6 trillion. New OECD data could yield insights that help to make this vision a reality.

PARIS – At the current rate of progress, it will take more than 200 years to achieve gender equality and female empowerment at work. In many countries, girls are still forced to marry young, which limits their access to education and future employment opportunities. In Niger, for example, in 2016, 76% of girls aged 15-19 were married, which partly explains why 73% of lower-secondary-school-age girls are out of school. Child labor is also common, and almost a third of the world’s women believe that domestic violence is a justifiable punishment under certain circumstances, such as burning meals.

What does it say about human values when it is considered more acceptable to beat a woman than to ruin dinner?

Legal frameworks enshrine such values. Today, ten countries still allow marital rape, and nine permit rapists to avoid punishment by marrying their victims. And, for many more women, such values inform social arrangements that deny them opportunities. Around the world, the absence of paid maternity leave, childcare facilities, or family-friendly job policies prevents women’s participation in the formal economy. Even when women do manage to have a career, they still assume three-quarters of household responsibilities.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/MLZ3PmW;
  1. haass102_ATTAKENAREAFPGettyImages_iranianleaderimagebehindmissiles Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

    Taking on Tehran

    Richard N. Haass

    Forty years after the revolution that ousted the Shah, Iran’s unique political-religious system and government appears strong enough to withstand US pressure and to ride out the country's current economic difficulties. So how should the US minimize the risks to the region posed by the regime?

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.