One chart: Which places around the globe has more gender equality?
Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to celebrate the amazing women in our lives, around the world and throughout history.
IWD has roots going back to 1911 when the US and a host of European countries set aside March 19th to honor the ongoing fight for women’s rights. However, the celebration as we know it today wasn't calendar-codified until 1975 when the UN began to recognize the event on March 8th.
The day is also a good chance to reflect on where women stand in society. While progress has been made in some areas, like the narrowing of the gender wage gap in the US through the 80s and 90s, there’s still some way to go in others.
In the World Inequality Report 2022, economists estimated the female share of labor income around the world. On this simple metric, which makes global comparisons easier, many regions have made slow, steady progress. In North America, the female share of labor income has risen 4.2% since 1990, in Western Europe it’s up nearly 7%.
Not all regions have trended in the same direction, though. Indeed, China — a country that's had a strong history of women in the workforce — has seen the female share of labor income drop over 5% since 1990.
Of course, income is just one facet of societal progress. On the world stage, female leaders are more common than they’ve been in the past, though equal representation still looks decades away. In 2021, for example, women’s global share of leadership hit its peak, as they held ~24% of time in power as international heads of state, per data from the World Economic Forum.
Go deeper: Explore The Economist’s range of charts covering women’s education, the wage gap, female board members and much more.