Breaking Down Gender Biases

A Look at the UN’s 2023 Gender Social Norms Index Report

In a world where gender equality is increasingly recognized as not just a moral imperative but a developmental one, the United Nations’ 2023 Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) report provides a sobering reminder of the work that remains to be done. The report, which explores the pervasive and persistent nature of gender biases, offers a comprehensive analysis of the state of gender norms around the world.

Political   61% of people have bias, Educational  28% of people have bias, Economic 60% of people have bias, Physical Integrity 75% of people have bias.

A World of Widespread Biases Against Women

The report’s executive summary highlights the widespread nature of gender biases, which continue to inhibit women’s agency and deprive the world of the benefits of women’s leadership. Despite strides made in women’s rights and representation, the report notes that women remain underrepresented in leadership positions, accounting for around 10 percent of heads of state or government since 1995. This underrepresentation leaves women at the margins of decision-making, reinforcing biased gender social norms.

Key Findings: Persistence of Social Norms

The GSNI report’s key findings underscore the resilience of gender biases. The global GSNI value, which measures the prevalence of gender biases, has changed little over the past decade. This persistence is evident across 38 countries with data for both wave 6 (2010–2014) and wave 7 (2017–2022) of the GSNI.

The report also highlights the link between persistent gender income gaps and deep-rooted social norms and gender stereotypes. Women’s incomes are impacted by a “child penalty,” arising from social expectations that women should bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities. This finding is in line with recent studies showing that women’s incomes are disproportionately affected by societal expectations and norms.

Recommendations: Shaping Gender-Sensitive Policy Interventions

The GSNI report proposes a comprehensive framework for transformative change, focusing on two key blocks of action. The first block aims to shape gender-sensitive policy interventions and institutional reforms. This involves creating policies and institutions that actively challenge and seek to change biased gender norms.

The second block focuses on the significant role of the social context in shaping and reinforcing gender norms. This involves changing societal attitudes and beliefs about gender, which can be achieved through education, media representation, and other forms of social influence.

The report emphasizes the need for a concerted effort to break down gender biases and shift social norms towards gender equality. It argues that achieving gender equality requires more than just policy and institutional changes; it requires a fundamental shift in societal attitudes and beliefs about gender.

In conclusion, the UN’s 2023 GSNI report serves as a stark reminder of the persistent and pervasive nature of gender biases. However, it also provides a roadmap for how we can begin to dismantle these biases and work towards a more gender-equal world. The task is undoubtedly challenging, but as the report makes clear, it is one that we cannot afford to ignore.

What role will you play in breaking down these biases?

#UNDP #GSNI2023 #GenderEquality #SDGs #HumanRight

Categories: accessibility, Fututure of work, society

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