Population and Families
As of 2020, there are around 65 million fewer women than men in the world, about 3.8 billion women to 3.9 billion men. The ratio of males to females varies by age, however, and while males outnumber females at birth, with around 107 to 108 male babies for every 100 female births, women outnumber men in older ages due to the inherent biological advantage of women over men.
Good health is a fundamental human right and a necessary precondition for individual and societal development. Differences in the health of women and men are determined by three interrelated factors: development, biology and gender. Each of these factors contributes to distinct health trajectories for individuals throughout the life cycle.
Worldwide, substantial progress has been made in the achievement of universal primary education, and girls and boys around the world participate equally in primary education in most regions. While the progress in achieving gender equality in secondary education is encouraging, it lags behind levels reported in primary education, and gender disparities are wider and occur in more countries at the secondary than at the primary level.
As of 2020, only less than 50% of women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to around 75% of men, resulting in a gender gap of 27 percentage points globally, similar to the gap observed in 1995, despite a slight decline in participation for both women and men over the past 25 years.
Power and Decision Making
Women need to have a more prominent role in power and decision-making, a highly visible area where access has been restricted and progress has been slow. Women’s participation in political and public life has steadily increased: women’s representation in parliament has more than doubled globally, reaching 25% of parliamentary seats in 2020, mainly as a result of the adoption of gender quotas and milestones achieved in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Violence Against Women and the Girl Child
Women throughout the world are subjected to physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence, regardless of their income, age or education, oftentimes leading to long-term physical, mental and emotional health problems. Around one third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner; and 18% have experienced such violence in the past 12 months.
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