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Global gender equality survey: the study in a nutshell

Published 27 January 2021 in Surveys

Findings from a 17-country public opinion survey on gender equality led by Focus 2030 and Women Deliver and prepared for the Generation Equality Forum - Citizens call for a gender-equal world: a roadmap for action

Discover the survey

In the lead-up to the Generation Equality Forum, Focus 2030 and Women Deliver co-led a first-of-its-kind public opinion survey of over 17,160 adults, a sample representative of the populations of the 17 countries, to gather opinions and experiences on gender equality.

The survey reveals that across all countries, the global public unanimously supports gender equality and a resounding majority is ready for their governments to take action to address gender inequalities through political and financial measures.


In 1995, 189 countries committed to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a forward-looking blueprint to advance women’s rights and gender equality. A quarter-century later, UN Women and the Governments of France and Mexico launched the Generation Equality Forum, a multistakeholder and multigenerational campaign and platform to accelerate collective action for gender equality.

The survey covers 17 countries, from six continents and home to half of the world’s adult population. In each country, a sample of 1,000 or more respondents, representative of the adult population, was surveyed online between 24 July and 7 August 2020 by the DeltaPoll Institute.

It is the first of its kind to capture perceptions related to the six Generation Equality Action Coalitions, which are the thematic working areas at the center of the Generation Equality Forum. Furthermore, the study captures public opinions on policy, programmatic, and financial investments that governments, the private sector, and civil society should make to accelerate progress towards gender equality. In addition, the survey collects information on the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how COVID-19 is impeding or advancing gender equality. The study is designed to equip governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, gender equality advocates, and the media with data on public attitudes and perceptions to prioritize action to advance gender equality and inform bigger and bolder commitments at the Generation Equality Forum.

Main lessons from the survey

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, or conducting regular reviews on progress in the pursuit of gender equality, the public expects their governments to take urgent action and institute accountability measures to ensure commitments to gender equality are upheld.

Respondents also recognize the importance of focusing efforts on those most marginalized, including girls and women with disabilities, ethnic and racial minorities, refugees and migrants, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people.

The findings of this study, which covers 17 countries representing 50% of the world population, signal a need for decision-makers across the world to recognize that citizens are paying attention, they are supportive, and they are demanding actions on the far-reaching impacts of gender equality that cut across the public and private spheres and affect the health, rights, and well-being of individuals, countries, and the world. The Generation Equality Forum provides a crucial and timely opportunity for a variety of stakeholders to make informed decisions, take collective action to deliver on the promise of gender equality, and deliver on the will of their citizens.

Further reading


Documents to download

Citizens Call for a Gender-Equal World - Women Deliver / Focus 2030 [Presentation] International Survey - CITIZENS CALL FOR A GENDER-EQUAL WORLD: A ROADMAP FOR ACTION [landing page] Citizens Call for a Gender-Equal World - Women Deliver / Focus 2030 [Full report]