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Widening income inequality within many countries signals that the world’s wealth is captured increasingly by its richest people. While growing income inequality can destabilize societies and harm entire nations, its most acute impact falls on those who are already disadvantaged, including girls and women.
For them, gender inequalities in health, education, work and access to civic participation intersect with multiple discriminations linked to race, ethnicity, caste, religion, location, sexuality, age, class or disability. Indigenous women around the world, for example, face a disproportionate lack of access to healthcare.
Evidence suggests that gender inequality also fuels overall income inequality: the poorest people overall earn less when women earn less. In 2016, UN Women reported that household inequality between women and men may account for up to 30% of all income inequality.
Greater equality, however, is associated with higher growth, better development outcomes and greater income equality. SDG 10 recognizes the linked objectives of gender and social equity in target 10.1 (accelerated income growth for the poorest 40%); target 10.3 (equal opportunities); and target 10.4 (to support greater equality).
A high rate of income inequality pulls Colombia’s score down, because the richest 10% of people earned nearly four times the amount earned by the poorest 40% in 2012. Colombia’s Palma ratio is 4.0 compared to about 1.5 in both India (2010) and Indonesia (2010).
Perceptions of women’s political power:
El Salvador scores lowest on how equally political power is shared between men and women based on experts’ perceptions in 2016. Senegal tops the six focus countries, though no country achieved a score indicating that women have full equality in political power.
Gender equality in constitutions:
Constitutions are crucial foundations for legal guarantees of rights for girls and women. El Salvador and Indonesia have the lowest scores among the six focus countries for constitutional gender equality provisions (as of 2017), whereas Colombia, India and Senegal all score quite well.
Here we highlight the ‘missing’ critical gender equality issues that we weren’t able to include in the Index due to insufficient globally comparable data. These ‘missing’ issues can help form part of an advocacy agenda calling for more and better gender data, contributing to existing calls for gaps in gender data to be filled.
Aminata has been a passionate advocate for the protection of children since 1990 when she had the opportunity to represent Senegal at the UN Summit in West Africa when she was just 12 years old.Go to the Story
My name is Aggry. I am a champion for female empowerment and increasing women’s participation in leadership roles here in Kakamega in the west of Kenya.Go to the Story
As a result of her experiences in the height of the armed conflict in Colombia, Margarita has dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and liberties.Go to the Story