The movement to equalize the rights of women and men is fairly recent. It was particularly widespread in Western societies in the 1960s thanks to the feminist movements which were developed in the late nineteenth century. The progress towards equality between women and men is real, but the road is still long. Less numerous than men on the planet since the 1950s, women are 3.6 billion out of nearly 7.4 billion people. They live longer all over the world. But this is one of the few advantages that they can claim in relation to men. For the rest, the inequalities are systematically in their disfavour.
It is essential to point out that women-men inequalities are closely linked to gender inequalities. The observation of the permanence of gender inequalities resulting from the observation of statistics shapes and reinforces the representations already present in societies.
First of all, let’s analyze the political world. In June 2016, 22.8 per cent of national parliamentarians were women, showing a slow increase from 11.3 per cent in 1995.
At the global level, there are 38 states where women represent 10 per cent of parliamentarians in single or lower chambers in June 2016, including 4 women without women at all.
Moreover, the world of work is one of the sectors most affected by gender inequality. In 2012, 70% of people living on less than $ 1 a day are women and girls. Labor inequalities and insufficient access to resources and forms of capital are to a large extent the cause of poverty, which affects mostly women, irrespective of the country. Education is the area where progress in reducing gender inequality has been the most tangible in recent decades. In primary education, progress has been substantial, although in sub-Saharan Africa, enrollment ratios remain below the average for other developing countries. The reduction of gender inequalities and the economic empowerment of women are now seen as essential levers of economic growth and development. Several studies have shown that the promotion of equality between men and women has a positive impact on economic development and that improving the situation of women in terms of access to education, health, Credit and employment contributed positively to the economic growth and development of countries.
Moreover, according to a global survey, only 18.3 per cent of enterprises are female-headed. Women account for 31 per cent of permanent full-time workers, but only 9.9 per cent in manufacturing.
At the global level, in 2011, 50.5 per cent of working women were in precarious jobs, mostly outside the protection of labor legislation, compared to 48.2 per cent of men.
Women account for only 9 per cent of the labor force in construction, 12 per cent in engineering, 15 per cent in financial services and business services, and 24 per cent in Sectors essential to the development of a green economy. Women’s employment remains confined to the least-valued jobs in agriculture, trade and services. They are less paid and more affected by poverty.
The gravity of gender inequality is the violence. In 1993, the Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly on the Elimination of Violence against Women framed the fight against this pandemic. But more than 20 years later, 1 woman in 3 is still the victim of physical and / or sexual violence, most often committed by an intimate partner.
In the 28 Member States of the European Union, 43% of women have been victims of psychological violence in one form or another by an intimate partner. In 2012, a study in New Delhi found that 92 per cent of women had previously experienced sexual violence in a public place and that 88 per cent of women had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime .
Almost half of the victims of human trafficking in the world are adult women. Women and girls represent about 70 per cent of the victims, with single girls accounting for two out of three victims of trafficking in children.Finally, throughout their lives, the physical and sexual violence suffered by women has a direct impact on their health and is a phenomenon of not inconsiderable magnitude: gender-based violence kills or handicaps women from 15 to 44 years as cancer.
At another time, even though women live on average longer than men, they are discriminated against at every stage of their lives in terms of their health. Discrimination can begin even before birth, when, using new technologies, parents perform selective abortions. The phenomenon of “missing women”, highlighted by Amartya Sen in 1990, is still observed in 2012 by the OECD in many Asian countries, such as China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Vietnam.
Yet, while today almost all boys and girls are enrolled in primary school worldwide, a girl aged from 11 to 15 in four is out of school in the world. The idea that it is less “useful” than girls to be educated is rooted in many societies and communities. These resistances are not only the result of men, for the patterns have sometimes been internalized and perpetuated by the women themselves. On the other hand, although in higher education girls are now more numerous than boys in almost all geographical areas, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the orientations of girls in terms of Limit their future opportunities. These choices remain largely conditioned by stereotypes and some “self-censorship”, with girls having internalized the fact that certain pathways and jobs are destined or reserved for boys, and that they will not be able to access them.
Inequalities between men and women are reconfiguring, moving, and evolving. For those who took more than a century to win the franchise, Kuwaiti women participated in a municipal ballot for the first time in 2006 and women are still not voters in Saudi Arabia, the inequalities are far from disappearing.