It Could Take 163 Years to Close the Global Gender Gap


Rome wasn’t built in a day. Progress is a slow, arduous, and tedious process, and when it comes to global gender equality, that progress will take its sweet time before it closes the gender gap for good. According to the latest data from Statista and the Global Gender Gap Index, it will take just a little over 163 years before the gender gap is completely eradicated from the planet.

That’s far past our lifetime, the lifetime of our children, and even the lifetime of our grandchildren, but if you live in Western Europe, you could get a taste of what total equality looks like in advance. According to the Statista Research Department, “progress towards gender parity is succeeding at different speeds across geographic areas.”

Western Europe will have the “fastert” road to gender equality as Statista believes that the region will close the gender gap in “only” 54.4 years. Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa will follow in a few years’ time, but all the other regions will take over a century to close the gap.

It’s estimated that the gender gap will be closed in the Middle East, which is notorious for withholding women’s freedoms, a decade or so sooner than in North America, the supposed bastion of modern society. But neither compare to East Asia and the Pacific, which will take the longest to close the gender gap at an estimated 163.4 years.

As of 2020, Western Europe is the region with the smallest gender gap, with Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden considered the top four “equal” nations for women. There are a number of factors at play that could affect just how fast or slow it will take to close the gender gap, with culture being the biggest influencer. Culture influences laws, and until we address issues like toxic masculinity, misogyny, and the patriarchy, we might have to wait until our great-grandchildren are grown before we see the complete eradication of the gender gap in the 21st century. If we live that long.

Photo by Statista.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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