9 out of 10 people are biased against women: global study

9 out of 10 people are biased against women: global study


A groundbreaking new report on gender norms is a great asset — but offers bleak statistics.

Nearly 90% of people — or 9 in 10 — are biased against women, according to a 75-country analysis by the United Nations Development Programme released Thursday.

It so happens to fall on the same day presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race after drawing only 1 in 10 votes from women in her home state of Massachusetts.

This glass ceiling “covers all aspects of women’s lives — including the household — and that it is constructed … of pervasive bias and prejudice against women held by both men and women worldwide,” reads a press release for the study, which contains data representing 80% of the world’s population.

Common biases include the notion that men make better political leaders and business executives. This is corroborated by the fact that less than a quarter of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women, with only 10 female heads of governments on Earth, and that less than 6% of S&P 500 CEOs are women.

Nearly a third of respondents believe a man is justified to beat his wife.

Furthermore, progress toward gender equality is slowing: According to a chart in the report, society reached a progress plateau during the aughts following great progress in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Part of the reason for this, the authors state, is that the fight for gender equality must now address harder-to-navigate issues in order to progress.

“The work that has been so effective in ensuring an end to gaps in health or education must now evolve to address something far more challenging: a deeply ingrained bias — among both men and women — against genuine equality,” says UNDP administrator Achim Steiner. “Current policies, while well-intentioned, can only take us so far.”

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