Promote gender equality and empower women

Where do we stand?

Much progress has been made towards women’s and girls’ equality in education, employment and political representation, but many gaps remain.

Since 1995, when the Beijing Platform for Action on women’s empowerment was adopted, the global average proportion of women in parliament has nearly doubled, growing from 11 per cent in 1995 to 22 percent in January 2015. Women in parliament have gained ground in nearly 90 percent of the 174 countries for which data are available for 1995–2015.

Proportion of seats held by women in single or lower houses of national parliament, 2000 and 2015 (Percentage). Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

Bar Chart
  • About two thirds of countries in developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education.
  • Globally, about three quarters of working-age men participate in the labour force, compared to
    half of working-age women.
  • Today, women make up 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, an increase from 35 percent in 1990.
  • The average proportion of women in parliament has nearly doubled over the past 20 years, but still only one in five members is female.

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

UNDP’s work around the globe

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UNDP Around the world