Tackling Social Norms - A Game Changer for Gender Inequalities: 2020 Human Development Perspectives

How big and thick is the Glass Ceiling? New analysis suggests that it covers all aspects of women’s lives – including the household – and that it is constructed, not of glass, but of pervasive bias and prejudice against women held by both men and women worldwide.

These were the findings behind the new Gender Social Norms Index from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released on 5 March 2020. The index, which is part of the publication, ‘Tackling Social Norms: A game changer for gender inequalities’, measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population. 

This new analysis reveals that, despite decades of progress closing the equality gap between men and women, close to 90 per cent of men and women hold some sort of bias against women, providing new clues to the invisible barriers women face in achieving equality, and a potential path forward to shattering the Glass Ceiling.

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