How Do We Measure Gender Inequality?

Gender inequality is the idea that men and women are treated differently in the same circumstances. Many organizations around the world are working to stop this. Gender equality is a main goal for many governments, organizations, and NGOs worldwide. There are many ways to measure the inequality between men and women.


The Gender Pay Gap 

The gender pay gap is one of the most common ways to measure gender inequality. One way we can measure this is by looking at the overall difference between what men and women make on average. Another way to measure this is to look at the ratio of men to women who work full-time versus part-time. A third way to measure this is to look at if women and men make different amounts when doing the same job.


Gender Gaps in Domestic Labor 

Men and women do a different amount of work inside the home too. In every country in the world, women do more housework than men. Housework includes activities such as cooking, cleaning, family planning, taking care of children, and taking care of other family members. When men help more inside the home, it lets women be more involved outside the home too. This is key in moving toward gender equality.


Gender Gaps in Education 

It is important that boys and girls have access to education. We can at schooling to measure gender inequality. Also, we can compare how many girls and boys attend school. We can also look at how many years they each attend school. Finally, we can look at what subjects they take in school. How long you go to school and how well you do in school can impact other gender gaps after school ends.


Gender Gaps in Health 

Using a health index is another way to measure gender inequality. Women and men often have different life expectancies. This means women and men are expected to live to different ages. Women often live longer than men. This is often because of things like disease, violence, stress, and malnutrition. These things affect men and women differently.


Laws that Uphold Gender Inequality 

Law is a powerful tool in society. Sadly, there are many laws still today that uphold gender inequality. For example, laws about inheritance and laws around sexual assault. These laws usually serve to benefit men. A society can only be as equal as the laws that govern it allow it to be. Rewriting laws that work for all people is key if we want to increase equality. 


Gender Gaps in Politics

Finally, we can look at political involvement to measure gender inequality. In most countries there are more men than women in political positions. We can measure the ratio of men to women who are elected to political office. We can also look at how many countries have women in the highest political position. This measure is important because politicians make laws. As discussed above, laws are important for gender equality. Laws on gender equality are more likely when more women are in office.



Meghan O'Neil


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