When I was researching SDG 5, I knew from past experiences and arguments it is going to be a tough topic for me to write about.
The latest article of mine about Gender Equality, I tried to look at the usual controversy of being one-sided in a question of equality. Read here: https://findyourownlight.net/2019/06/06/sdg5-is-it-really-about-gender-equality/
I totally root for the critic that having index like this one, is only measuring issues for women. This is clearly true. Although, to further advance my previous argument, this index is actually just measuring the very basics in society. It is not designed to measure only woman issues.
GGGI is created to analyze the very basics of society and its institutions.
“The report examines four overall areas of inequality between men and women in 130 economies around the globe, over 93% of the world’s population”
- Economic participation and opportunity
Would you consider the UK among one of the most equal salary provider nation, right? Well, that is to be quickly debunked. Thanks to new regulations as employers must provide data on gender pay. Check out per profession by yourself on this online database. Even in professions, like nurses, which considered “feminine job”, man get slightly more than woman. Isn’t it interesting?
86% are women in position, but they make hourly a tiny bit less, which makes a difference annually. How come?
b. participation level:
using same database let’s pick a higher position, Chief Executives and Senior officials.
30% of British chief executives and senior officials positions are held by women. How come?
c. access to high-skilled employment: “Examples of skilled labor include engineers, software development, paramedics, police officers, soldiers, physicians, crane operators, truck drivers, machinist, drafters, plumbers, craftsmen, cooks and accountants.” source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skilled_worker
Almost all jobs listed are traditionally considered “male jobs”, so to be less biased, let’s check accountants, cooks, and software developers.
So 45% is the involvement of female accountants in Britain’s all types of employments, even on full time it is only 41%. In other words, they are still making nearly £8000 less a year.
This is another profession of full-time employment where women make less (£3000 annually) than males even if they hold 75% of the positions in UK. As part-time cooks, women make more money, and on all employment types again it is women making more with only £1000 annually, but that is still interesting to know that as full-time cooks woman are paid less.
Another male-dominated sector, programmers, we can see men fill 91% of these positions, and make yearly £5000 more than women. (I calculated as this statistic is somehow not showing, but £18.05/hour is around £35,883 annually)
2. Educational attainment:
a. Higher education: “Women aged 18 are 35% more likely to start a degree course than their male counterparts.” Ucas said. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/dec/17/uk-male-university-numbers-continue-to-fall-behind
Closing the gender pay gap in the UK (discussed above) is not because women are not skilled or educated enough as clearly it is false argument, before anyone would like to use that as a point.
This could be a topic for male issues to involve in the SDG #5, if globally the situation looked the same. Although, international statistics shows some sort of disadvantages for women instead.
There is clearly a gap in gender in secondary education as seen above in all regions.
b. Literacy: On global level woman are still behind.
“the literacy rate for men is 87%, the rate for women is 77%.” source: https://www.indexmundi.com/blog/index.php/2013/06/25/male-and-female-literacy-rates-by-country/
3. Political empowerment:
a. Woman in political decision making:
“Overall 32% of MPs are women but there are significant variations between parties” in the UK. Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2017-40192060
Globally, it is “Only 23% of the world’s politicians are women.” Source: https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2017/nov/29/female-political-leaders-women-change
Globally we have nearly the same amount of males than females:
In 2017, there is 49,56% of female and only +0,888% more man.
We have nearly half of global population for both genders, so then why political decisions are made by 77% of males globally? Source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/sp.pop.totl.fe.zs?end=2017&start=2015
If that fact isn’t tragic, then what it is? Please explain to me. I am not huge fan of quotas, but I clearly see a need for some sort of conscious change here. Can you?
4. Health and Survival:
- Life expectancy: In general, women live longer, which can be another case for SDG #5 to target with a goal as male issues. I completely support it and see need to focus attention to this topic.
- Sex ratio at birth: I thought there is not much of a factor here, by nature, when it is about sex at birth, but apparently there is.It even actually influenced the global male rate to be higher than naturally it would be, which had shocked me to the core… Yes, gender-specific abortions are a thing.
“higher than natural proportion of male births globally, mostly due to son preference in East Asia and South Asia.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio#Gender_imbalance
There you have it.
These are all the 4 categories above detailedly explained, based on which the statistics are collected and GGGI is accounted.
Now, let’s spill the real “tea”.
While running through the list of GGGI sorted ascending, I was expecting to see Africa in the very bottom.
In 2018, according to data, actually Yemen (Middle East) is the worst regarding this index. After that is Pakistan (South Asia), Syria (Middle East) and Chad (Africa). The list was going on with mainly countries from Africa, and Middle East, occasionally hinted with a few Asian regions.
After 40 nations I have read, it occured to me too look at my region, Europe. Scrolling down slowly, I was wondering on a list of nearly 200 country names, where Europe would appear at the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI).
I have learned a lot from writing this SDG #5 report. I can proudly say that many of my bias was attempted to be cleared in the part 1 edition. Some stereotypes even bursted for me in the researching and writing of this current article.
Never would I have ever thought, that the first country name, from bottom up scrolling, representing europe will be my country, Hungary at the sad 44th place (from the back).
Perhaps, that is the biggest myth I was making myself mistakenly believe. That in Central Europe, and especially in my country, social inequalities women are facing with, are less.
For my surprise, after Hungary, it took a little while to find the next in line from Europe region: Malta, the 55th.
Even countries like, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, or even Ebola affected Liberia and Senegal are better than Hungary in Gender Gap according this Index.
62nd is Czech Republic, 64th is Slovakia. With them at least we are in the same sub-region, Central-East Europe and share a quite more similar political, economical, religious and legal environment with than all above mentioned.
How come my country is so behind in gender equality, then others in the region? How come I have never really noticed it in all those 4 main aspects? Well, that is not true, as about the equal pay I have noticed. But to be that bad in GGGI, Hungary has to be quite unequal in the rest too. Oh, yes, political decision making. The current cabinet, I believe, has only one woman out of 14 heads.
What do you think about your motherland or country of residence? How do you experience gender inequality in a local, national, regional or global level? Share your thoughts with me.
Call to action:
1. Read more → www.sustainabledevelopment.un.org
2. Discuss the following topic with your sympathizers: What is to be done to reduce inequalities affecting all genders? Which above mentioned inequalities are the most urgent to handle according to you, and why?
3. Find a project and reach out to the host entity to support them with advice or funds to deliver it, especially west African entities. The reason is the urgent need to deliver SDG-related changes there.
4. Sponsor and motivate someone in your world to take a global volunteer project with AIESEC → aiesec.org/global-volunteer. I suggest one in Benin → aiesec.org/opportunity/870351
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The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of AAI.