The time it takes to reach equality between men and women.
How big is the gap between the positions of men and women? According to the “Global Gender Gap Report 2021” report released by the World Economy Forum (WEF) in March, it will take 135.6 years to become a world where men and women are equal.
The same report in 2019 predicted that it would take about 95 years if it had followed the same trend from then, but 36 more years were added to the current prediction due to the pandemic. In other words, the pandemic has delayed the progression of women obtaining their rights by a few decades.
The 'Global Gender Gap Report,’ released every year at the World Economic Forum, is a detailed analysis of gender gaps in politics, economy, education, and health in 156 countries worldwide, and is an important criterion for understanding the degree of gender inequality in each country.
Greater gender inequality with pandemic
Why did the pandemic have a bigger impact on women? The reason is that the areas where women work are mainly affected by the austerity economy. Many women around the world are engaged in services, such as restaurants, factories, and hotels, which usually require face-to-face interaction with others.
From following the quarantine measures, such as blockade and curfew, the significant increase in women spending more time at home has also increased the women's burden on housework, childcare, and eldercare, which worsened gender inequality.
During the pandemic, gender inequality increased even in the United States, a developed country. In the U.S., a total of 140,000 jobs were lost compared to early December 2020, while women lost 156,000 jobs, men gained 16,000.
Of course, many American men were also unemployed because of the pandemic. However, when the unemployment rate is divided by gender, men are far ahead of women. As a result, compared to the pre-pandemic, from February, women's jobs decreased by about 5.4 million, and men's jobs decreased by about 4.4 million.
Violence against women is
△ In the time between January to October 2020, 91 women in Italy were killed from violence. The photo shows Italians protesting against Gender-based Violence on the 'International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women' in November 2019.
The pandemic also increased violence against women. As the time spent at home increased due to Covid 19, violence against women has increased significantly around the world. In addition to the virus, the “shadow pandemic” of violence against women is spreading.
The UN warned that violence against women is also becoming a “pandemic” due to the Covid 19 pandemic. According to UN Women's Organization CEO Jail Le Mram Boung Kuka, 245 million women experienced sexual and physical violence from their partners in 2020 alone. Domestic violence, cyberbullying, child marriage, sexual harassment, and sexual violence increased in 2021 as well.
A sad report was also published in Italy that 91 women were killed between January to the end of October 2020. Approximately one woman was killed every three days; 81 women were killed by family members, and 56 were victims of boyfriends.
In December 2020, when Italy's tragic report became known, rallies and silent protests followed around the world. Participants at the rally raised their voices that the number of women suffering from domestic violence increased sharply as a blockade was imposed due to the Covid 19 outbreak.
Gender equality index
Iceland at No. 1
Afghanistan is last
△ The World Economic Forum publishes the “Global Gender Gap Report” every year. Click the link to view the report.
According to the report “Global Gender Gap Report 2021,” the country with the highest gender equality index was Iceland, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Namibia, and Rwanda. Iceland has held the No. 1 position in gender equality in this report for 12 consecutive times.
△ According to the report “Global Gender Gap Report 2021,” the country with the highest gender equality index was Iceland, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Namibia, and Rwanda.
What is Iceland's #1 secret? This is due to the low burden of child-rearing and housekeeping for women. Iceland was also said to have had severe gender inequality until the 1980s. However, in 1975, women held a general strike to overcome gender discrimination at work and in housework, which led to changes by making men aware of the importance of parenting and housekeeping.
After the general strike, Iceland allocated 40% of its lawmakers and ministers to women in a political agreement to equalize the gender ratio. In 2013, a law was passed that gives 40% of corporate board members to women.
Currently, Iceland has twice as many female college graduates as men and is the world's number one female graduate in science and technology. Women's participation rate in economic activity is 88%, which is the No. 1 in the OECD.
△ Afghan women are in the least gender-equal country in the world. An Afghan woman wears a cover-up burka and holds a child.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan ranked 156th, ranking last among the countries surveyed. Women in Afghanistan are at the extreme opposite of those in Iceland. In Afghanistan, parenting and sharing of household chores are entirely up to women, and both women's education and social advancement are blocked.
South Asia, with India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, was the most severe in gender inequality in each region of the world. South Asia took 195.4 years to achieve gender equality, followed by East Asia (165.1 years), which included South Korea, China, and Japan, longer than the Middle East and North Africa (142.4 years).
What hinders gender equality?
The United Nations Women ranked the most impeding factors for gender equality in February. Click the link to download the “Report on the Results of the Survey from the Perspective of Key Stakeholders in the Next Generation Strategic Plan (2022-2025)”.
1. Implementing existing laws and policies in an inappropriate way (64%)
2. Insufficient female representatives in the positions of second-place decision-makers and leaders (60%)
3. Firm discrimination, threatening attitude, and negative social norms (53%)
4. Insufficient influence of the obligatory agency that enforces gender equality (51%)
5. Gender inequality in the economy sector (51%)
6. Chronic lack of gender equality and women's autonomy in the workplace (46%)
As an opportunity to restore global gender equality!
Women's employment must increase if we want a dynamic economy of the future. Perhaps the “Post Pandemic” economic recovery initiative could be a new opportunity to solidify gender equality.
At this point in the post-pandemic contemplation, we need to complement the system that prohibits discrimination in employment and promotion and more additional education for women. It is also necessary to change a culture in which domestic work such as child-rearing and elderly care is too dependent on women. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen legislation to eradicate sexual violence that is taking place around the world.