Please summarise the regional progress of girls and women, highlighting overall regional progress and disparities, progress and trends in key areas (preferably in table format), and emerging regional priorities for multilaterals.
What regions have made the most progress in achieving gender equality, and where has progress being slow? Key findings include the following:
- As the world’s poorest region, Sub-Saharan Africa is performing poorly
on many gender equality indicators. For example, it has the highest
rates of maternal and newborn mortality, and also the lowest
proportion of deliveries attended by skilled health personnel.
- Latin America and the Caribbean is the world’s most unequal region and
there are large inequities between social groups, including between
men and women. Nevertheless, progress has been made in expanding
girls’ access to education and in legislation to protect women’s
equality (EIU, 2012).
- Every country in Europe and Central Asia improved its score on the
Women’s Opportunity Index between 2010-2012 (EIU, 2012). This region
performs best on all measures of gender equality.
- In the Middle East and North Africa, high reproductive rates,
discriminatory social norms and laws designed to ‘protect’ women
restrict their freedom, mobility and economy opportunity. Women are
disadvantaged in the workplace. Social and cultural norms mean that
cases of violence against women rarely reach court (EIU, 2012).
- Southern Asia has performed worse than any other region on a number of
gender indicators. Women are often restricted from working outside the
home, and the female labour participation is particularly low at
between 29-30 per cent (EIU, 2012, p. 18). Southern Asia together with
Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 86 per cent of all maternal deaths in
2013 (UN Women, 2015, p. 16).
- Several countries in Eastern Asia are performing well and improving
their scores on the Women’s Opportunity Index. The female labour force
participation rate in this region is relatively high at 64 per cent
(EIU, 2012, p. 18). Women are more likely than men to be engaged in
- All countries in the Pacific region perform below the global average
on gender indicators. The overwhelming proportion of the population
lives in rural, isolated villages, and has limited access to basic
health and education services (EIU, 2012).
Mcloughlin, C. Regional progress of the world’s girls and women (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1922). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2015) 12 pp.