2012 World Bank report on gender equality finds women are still oppressed

world bank report

The World Bank has released
its 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development, which has a lot of really interesting findings about the state of women in the world today across a broad range of areas, including education, health, and work. But while it reports that things have improved for women in a variety of areas (like education access), there are tons of gaps that still exist which inhibit women from opportunities to live full and healthy lives, particularly in low-income countries.

Some of the findings that were stressed were around economic disparities, the wage gap and mortality rates — a few tidbits:

  • Women represent 40% of the world’s labor force but hold just 1% of the world’s wealth
  • There are 3.9 million “missing” women and girls under 60 years old every year in developing countries
  • Over a third of women die in their reproductive years

They have an awesome interactive page that provides stats, maps, graphs and a ton of information around their findings. (You can also download full text here.) Where I find this report may be of the most value is the accompanying recommended policy actions to improve these gaps — let’s hope they’re put to good use.

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  1. Posted September 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The figure that women hold 1% of the world’s wealth is incredible. I’m having a lot of trouble verifying it. Searching through the full report for “wealth” or “1%” doesn’t turn up anything. Can you tell me what page this is on?

    The U.S. and Europe hold very roughly half the world’s wealth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_distributionofwealth_GDP_and_population_by_region.gif, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/americas-dominance-of-global-wealth-is-slipping).

    If no other women in the world had any wealth at all, therefore, women in the U.S. and Europe could hold at most 2% of the wealth in those regions. That seems like it can’t possibly be right and seems flatly contradicted by several sources I could find (http://www.genspring.com/documents/RESEARCH-Women-and-Wealth-Summary-of-Key-Findings.pdf, http://www.wlp.givingto.vt.edu/wealth/index.html, http://www.socwomen.org/web/images/stories/resources/fact_sheets/fact_2-2010-wealth.pdf)

    I’m having trouble resolving the inconsistency, or finding any primary source for this figure. Many people around the internet are quoting it but only citing each other or other secondary or tertiary sources.

    • Posted September 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Not trying to derail the larger conversation by trying to understand & verify this one figure. The report itself is full of great stuff & well worth reading.

  2. Posted September 20, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Today I saw a video in which a Mexican journalist, Denise Dresser, said that in Mexico 6 out of 10 men think that women do not deserve an education. Also that when there’s an economic recession, most universities see a dramatic drop in women’s enrollment.

  3. Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Remind me again why we’re posting about the World Bank’s results when the World Bank is what causes these countries to be in poverty???

    The irony is astounding. Wow. I just…I can’t even.

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