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9 facts you need to know about gender equality 


When women and girls have the tools and opportunities they need to succeed, it’s a win for everyone, everywhere. Despite the world continuing to make progress towards gender equality, that progress is still slow and uneven, and inequality continues. 

Here are nine facts you need to know about gender equality.  

1. 70% of health and social care workers are women  

Women and girls are the first responders during crises. So much so that 70% of social and healthcare workers are women. But this work isn’t always valued. In fact, almost 50% of women’s work in health and social care goes unpaid and unrecognised. 

Close up of a women holding a syringe
Image of a COVID-19 vaccination center at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya in October 2021.

2. Women grow up to 80% of the world’s staple crops 

When it comes to feeding their families, women shoulder that burden. Women actually grow between 60-80% of the world’s staple crops. On top of that, women are almost entirely responsible for buying and preparing this food. 

3. But women and girls are 10% more likely to go hungry

But despite contributing so much to the production and distribution of food, women continue to be more likely to go hungry compared to men. In fact, during the COVID-19, they were 10% more likely to go hungry.

Close up of woman in traditional african clothes holding black beans while working in farm in the contryside

4. 150 million people could be lifted out of hunger if female farmers had equal resources

If women had the same access as men to resources — things like land, finance, training, and equipment — they could further grow their businesses. And with that, they could help tackle food insecurity and help lift 100 million to 150 million people out of hunger.

5. Women and girls spend 200 million hours collecting water every day

Every day, women and girls spend 200 million hours on water collection. That’s equivalent to  22,800 years of missed opportunities every day. And that 22,800 years? That’s roughly the equivalent of the period of time from the Stone Age to today. 

6. There is a US$172 trillion difference between men and women’s total expected lifetime earnings 

Yes, you read that right — over the course of their lifetimes, there is an earning difference of US$172 trillion between men and women. And here’s why — an employed woman will still only make 77% of a man’s wages. And that gap can change depending on a woman’s race, education, and more. 

7. Every additional year a girl is in school can boost her future earnings by up to 20%

A lot of the current gender pay gap goes right back to education. There has been some progress in girls’ education, but more is needed if we want to close the gender pay gap. For every additional year a girl is in school, it can boost her earnings as an adult by up to 20%. If that’s not girl math, we don’t know what is.

Image of school-aged girls hugging and smiling in a classroom.
Image of 10-year-old Esther O and fellow school girls in a classroom in Lagos, Nigeria.

8. Women spend three times as many hours on unpaid domestic labor as men

This can even be seven times as much time in regions like Northern and Western Africa. This is because it is often perceived as women’s primary social role. But spending so much time on unpaid domestic work limits the time that a woman can spend in school, working, or even leisure activities. 

9. 80% of people displaced by climate change are women

We know that climate change impacts everyone, everywhere. But for women, those impacts can be even worse. If a woman is living through a climate disaster, she would be less likely to survive compared to her male counterparts. Women are more likely to be displaced by the impacts of climate change – in fact, 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. 

How you can help fight for gender equality 

Injustice and inequality affect everything, including gender equality. But when we fight for a more just world for women and girls, then the whole world benefits. You can join us in doing just that by joining ONE and using your voice to stand up against injustice and help support gender equality. Find out how you can get started now. 

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