Nine out of 10 people biased against women: UN report
Researchers were 'shocked' by the lack of change and ingrained societal norms that limit women's opportunities in politics, business, and the workplace.
According to a UN assessment, gender bias is as ingrained as it was a decade ago, and progress toward gender equality has stalled.
The Gender Social Norms Index discovered that nine out of ten persons of all genders exhibit prejudice toward women, a ratio that has not altered since data were gathered more than a decade ago.
According to a study released on Monday by the United Nations Development Programme, half of the people in 80 countries feel males make better political leaders, 40% believe men make better corporate CEOs, and a quarter say it is OK for men to abuse their spouses.
These numbers, based on data acquired between 2017 and 2022, were virtually unaltered from the last GSNI report, issued in 2020 and based on data collected between 2005 and 2014.
Pedro Conceição, head of UNDP’s human development report office asked, "How can it get any worse?”
“Unfortunately, doing this exercise has been an experience of shock after shock. The first time that we released it, I was shocked with the magnitude [of biases], and this time around I was shocked with the lack of progress.”
According to the researchers, the prejudices create hurdles for women in politics, commerce, and employment, as well as the denial of their rights and abuses of their human rights. Despite women being more educated and talented than ever before, there remained a 39% wage disparity between men and women, they claimed.
Anam Parvez, head of research at Oxfam GB, stated that this explains why general quality is still far to be achieved by 2030. “In 2021, one in five women were married before they turn 18, 1.7 billion women and girls live on less than $5.50 a day, and women continue to take on three times as much unpaid care and domestic work as men around the world."
Parvez explains that at current rates "of progress it will take 186 years to close gaps in legal protections. It also explains why, while there has been some progress on enacting laws that advance women’s rights, social norms continue to be deeply entrenched and pervasive.”
Heidi Stöckl, a Munich professor specializing in gender-based violence at Ludwig Maximillian stated that in order to overcome the bias, society must continue to enforce "a conscious effort and a strong commitment from all levels."
Stöck did remark, however, that some signs of progress were made, such as Bangladesh seeing an increase in education rates and women being represented more in politics and the economy, expressing hope that the younger population is "striving for an equal society."
The UN study demands women's economic contributions to society, particularly unpaid labor, to be properly appreciated, legislation and measures to ensure political participation be passed, and greater action to combat stereotypes be taken.
Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, believes that the bias against women happens due to views that "devalue women and reinforce men’s power, control and feelings of entitlement, as well as promoting beliefs that trivialize and normalize violence against women and even blame victims for their own abuse."
Simon says violent behavior can only be eradicated by shifting those attitudes.