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Global Gender Equality Survey - 13 key findings

Published 26 January 2021 in Surveys

The survey findings show that the public is eager for sustained and strengthened political and financial investments to accelerate progress towards gender equality, whether it is through reforming discriminatory laws, mass awareness campaigns, collecting data on girls’ and women’s experiences, or conducting regular reviews of progress in the pursuit of gender equality.

The public also recognize the importance of focusing efforts on those most marginalized, including girls and women with disabilities, ethnic and racial minorities, refugees and migrants, or LGBTQIA+ people.3

  1. On average, across the 17 countries surveyed, 80% of individuals personally consider gender equality important .

  2. The majority of respondents (60%) feel that gender equality is essential to end poverty in all countries.

  3. 61% hope that their governments will seize the opportunity of the Generation Equality Forum to increase financing for gender equality, either domestically or internationally.

  4. People believe that governments have the primary responsibility to take action to achieve gender equality. Nearly half of the respondents would like their governments to reform laws to promote gender equality and end discrimination against women.

  5. Gender-equality is not a marginal topic. On average, 41% of respondents would vote in an election for a candidate supporting gender equality, and 81% would be ready to personally take action to advance gender equality.

  6. Although women generally demonstrate stronger support for every gender issue presented in the survey, the majority of men are also supportive. In fact, respondents overwhelmingly support gender equality across genders, age groups, socioeconomic groups, and countries.

  7. 60% believe that gender equality has progressed over the last quarter century since the last World Conference on Women.

  8. On average, 57% of the women surveyed report having experienced some form of gender discrimination in their personal, professional, and public lives.

  9. According to respondents, the three main reasons why women may not be equal to men in their country are:
    • the unequal distribution of unpaid care, domestic work, and parental responsibilities between women and men
    • the different employment opportunities between women and men
    • the role of religion and culture

  10. The COVID-19 pandemic has a gendered impact. Across 13 of the 17 countries, more women than men report experiencing more emotional stress and mental health challenges during the pandemic.

  11. The COVID-19 pandemic can also be an opportunity to accelerate progress: 82% of respondents think women should be involved in all aspects of the global health response and recovery efforts for COVID-19, including in the development of policies and treatments.

  12. Young people, especially young women, have the highest expectations of their governments to advance gender equality. Three in four young women call on their government to increase funding for equality in their country on the occasion of the Gender Equality Forum, compared to two in three respondents on average.

  13. On average across the 17 countries, respondents consider the following as the highest priority issues for government action related to the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalitions:
    • Gender-based violence: increasing accountability for perpetrators of physical and sexual crimes against women, end practices that are harmful for girls and women (for example, child marriage and female genital mutilation), and funding programs to support women who have experienced violence.
    • Economic justice and rights: achieving equal pay for women and men, and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
    • Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights: increasing access to sexual health services, and to accurate information, including sexual education in school.
    • Feminist action for climate justice:promoting the training and hiring of girls and women in jobs related to climate change, and increasing their participation in the development of solutions to tackle climate change.
    • Technology and innovation for gender equality: providing equal opportunities for girls and women to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and increase the safety of digital spaces for girls and women.
    • Feminist movements and leadership: supporting women’s political leadership and participation, and achieving equal representation of women in politics.


      The survey findings will be released in January 2021. Along with the main report, country data sheets will present key findings at the country level, and survey data will be on open access to facilitate their appropriation by women’s rights movements working at the national level.

Further reading

International Survey - CITIZENS CALL FOR A GENDER-EQUAL WORLD: A ROADMAP FOR ACTION [Landing page]

Documents to download

Citizens Call for a Gender-Equal World - Women Deliver / Focus 2030 [Presentation] Citizens Call for a Gender-Equal World - Women Deliver / Focus 2030 [Full report]

Further reading