Published on Data Blog

International Women’s Day 2024: Five insightful charts on gender (in)equality around the world

This page in:

As we commemorate International Women’s Day in 2024, the urgency for gender equality is more palpable than ever. With the World Bank's forthcoming 2024–2030 Gender Strategy aiming to expedite gender parity to end poverty on a livable planet, it is imperative to delve into the data highlighting the critical areas requiring immediate attention.

Drawing from the World Bank’s Gender Data Portal, let’s navigate through three pivotal goals underscoring the pressing need for progress: combating gender-based violence, enhancing economic opportunities, and fostering women’s leadership roles.

Chart #1: Gender-based violence (GBV) remains inexcusably prevalent

Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most egregious manifestation of gender inequality and an alarming challenge to global public health, human rights, and development.

One in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner over the course of their life. Young women are the most at-risk group. This pattern holds irrespective of country income classification. GBV has wide repercussions, including deteriorating physical and mental health, reduced access to education and jobs, and worse human development and economic outcomes for survivors and their children.


Chart #2: Gains in human capital for both boys and girls

Human capital is the foundation for economic progress and development success. The last few decades saw some hard-won gains in gender equality.

Chart #3: Exploring economic barriers faced by women

Women’s economic prospects remain constrained. Across all regions of the world, women’s labor force participation remains below that of men.

Chart #4: Women and girls’ time poverty limits their choices

In every single country with data available, women spend more time on unpaid domestic and care work. Women’s disproportionate burden of care and household work has wide-ranging consequences. It takes away time that could be spent working for pay, developing new skills, or growing a business. As a result, women often remain stuck in informal and lower-paying jobs or remain completely outside of the labor force. Valuing unpaid care work is essential for addressing existing gender inequalities and improving labor market outcomes for women. 


Chart #5:  Spotlighting the gap in women’s leadership representation

Though there are many initiatives focused on increasing women's leadership roles at the local governance level, women are still underrepresented in national governance structures and in corporate management. 

The last 25 years have seen a steady increase in the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments more than doubling from about 12% in 1997 to 27% in 2022. Yet, even in high income countries women account for just over 30 percent of parliamentarians. In lower middle-income countries 4 out of 5 parliament seats are occupied by men. 


What lies ahead?

Global trends such as climate change, natural resource scarcity and technological transitions will further exacerbate gender inequalities if no mitigating action is taken. Tracking global trends on key gender statistics will be more vital than ever to develop and implement solutions.

Women’s economic participation and leadership improves the management of natural resources, strengthens resilience, and makes economies more competitive. Closing gender gaps remains an urgent imperative, on this day and every day. 


Anna Tabitha Bonfert

Data Scientist, Gender Group

Divyanshi Wadhwa

Data Scientist, Development Data Group, World Bank

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000