UN finds gender bias is widespread globally

The United Nations reported this week that through much of the world, including the United States, as many as 90% of people harbor at least one bias against women. Ninety-one percent of men and 86% of women held such views, according to the UN’s first gender sexual norm index.

Meeting at conference table, discussing an issue. Some men at the table, but women are more numerous.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The worldwide study of 75 countries found a lack of feelings of equivalence in most countries, including those classified as developed. Fewer than half the people held a gender bias in just six countries: Andorra, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

In several, prejudice seemed to be getting worse, not better. Those countries included South Africa, India, Rwanda and Brazil.

Comparisons were made with two sets of World Values Survey data about social attitudes in 2005 to 2009 and 2010 to 2014.

In the United States, which marks the centennial of women’s suffrage this year, more than half the people surveyed held at least one bias. The acting director of the UN study’s gender team, Raquel Lagunas, called for work on attitudes, especially in areas of empowerment in economics and politics.

The report is described on the Guardian’s Global Development site, funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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