Look, not to immediately dampen the mood after International Women’s Day or anything, BUT everything is still quite fucked. The United Nations Human Developments Programme (UNDP) has released a report that indicates that across the board, we have so, so far to go in the way of gender equality.
The first of its kind Gender Social Norms Index report measured the way the social beliefs colour gender equality in key areas, including work, education and politics. It details a bunch of unfortunate things that look, we probably all knew to be true anyway, but the big kick in the teeth is that almost 90% of men and women globally are biased against women.
Further, about 50% of people (this is all including women by the way) feel that men make better political leaders, 40% feel men make better business executives and men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce. Nearly a third of people (28% to be precise) believe that it’s alright for a man to beat his wife.
Pedro Conceição, the head of the UNDP’s Human Development Report Office that this report comes from said that unfortunately overall, the report reflects a backward slide in gender equality with regard to attitudes towards women and their role in society.
“While in many countries these biases are shrinking, in many others the biases are actually sliding back,” says Conceição. “If you take the overall average of the information we have, we show that on average we are sliding back—that biases, instead of shrinking, are growing back.”
Ok but wait, aren’t gains being made? Aren’t we seeing more representation and didn’t all those t-shirts tell me the future is female?
Conceição explains: “What our report shows is a pattern that repeats itself again and again. Big progress in more basic areas of participation and empowerment. But when we get to more empowering areas, we seem to be hitting a wall.”
The report calls for a reality check. Campaigners around the world have called on accelerated action for gender equality from world leaders. An open letter co-signed by nine presidents and CEOs of organisations including Plan International, the One Campaign and Women Deliver said that “there is no time left for business as usual,” and that if we continue at our current rate, 67 countries, and the 2.1 billion women and girls in them, will not achieve any of the key gender and equality targets studied by 2030.
It’s disheartening, to say the fucking least, but the report at least provides demonstrable evidence against baby-MRA dickheads that no, #MeToo has not gone too far, and no, women will not be slowing down in our attempts to make the world less shit.
Lead image via Jenny Holzer.