Tackling Social Norms
Mar 4, 2020
The world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. The Human Development Report’s Gender Inequality Index (GII)— a measure of women’s empowerment in health, education and economic status—shows that overall progress in gender inequality has been slowing in recent years.
New social movements are emerging all around the world. Different forms of demonstration—including online campaigns, women marches and street performances—demand new ways of looking at gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Social norms are central to the understanding of these dynamics. For example, societies often tell their girls that they can become anything they want and are capable of, while investing in their education. But the same societies tend to block their access to power positions without giving them a fair chance. Globally almost 50 percent of people say they think men make better political leaders, while more than 40 percent feel that men make better business executives—a social judgement, just for being a woman, an invisible barrier and an affront to fairness and real meritocracy.