Global Gender Gap in Secondary Education

100% Equality was the theme of a session at this year’s Nexus Europe Youth Summit in London last week. As a member of the panel I started off by giving a global overview of the state of gender (in)equality and how this is being measured by different institutions, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the World Economic Forum, or the European Institute for Gender Equality. While they draw very different pictures in their detailed indicators, there are also a lot of similarities, with the European Nordic countries almost always being in the top spots of the overall index, which does not mean that in any of these countries absolute gender equality has been achieved. Globally seen, health equality is furthest progressed, why empowerment and participation remain amongst the most pressing issues.
The following map is from my slides that I have shown and displays the gender gap in secondary education around the world projected on an equal-population projection using a gridded cartogram transformation:

Map of the global gender education gap
(click for larger version)

The gender gap in education shows some patterns that are different than those in other indicators from the Gender Inequality Index that is mapped here: While the disparities between secondary education of boys and girls in much of the African continent and South Asia remain on a sometimes very high level, there are some regions, such as a large part of South America, but also countries such as the USA or Japan even have a higher proportion of girls and women in some sort of secondary education (which, however, does not translate into a better representation of women in the labour market). It is important to bear in mind that this map does not make any statement about the actual state of secondary education within a country, as it merely looks at the gender imbalance (which e.g. can be high in a country where secondary education attendance is low, as much as can be high in a country with a fairly good access to secondary education).

The following Slideshare presentation shows the maps that I displayed at the Nexus Summit, including global maps of the Gender Equality Index, Women in Parliaments, Gender Empowerment as well as some of my maps from the Social Atlas of Europe and the book The Population of the UK and about the distribution of sexes in China, which all show how much gender equality is a global issue as much as it relates to the complex social structures within a country or region. Despite progress, the state of gender equality remains an issue that needs tackling in every country before we can speak about 100% equality – or about equal chances for men and women:

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin Hennig using data published by UNDP. Please contact me for further details on the terms of use.

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