The World Bank’s latest World Development Report, which focuses on gender equality around the world, offers some stark facts about how women and girls fare in developing countries despite decades of progress.
Wealth: Women represent 40% of the world’s labor force but hold just 1% of the world’s wealth.
Wages: Salaried women workers earn 62 cents for every $1 that men earn in Germany, 64 cents in India and about 80 cents in Mexico and Egypt. Women entrepreneurs fare far worse, earning 34 cents for every $1 men earn in Ethiopia and just 12 cents in Bangladesh relative to every $1 for men.
Mortality: Women and girls are more likely to die relative to men and boys in low and middle-income countries, with 3.9 million “missing” women and girls each year under the age of 60, the report says. At least 40% of those are never born, one-sixth die in infancy and a third in their reproductive years. The problem is worst in sub-Saharan Africa and countries hit by HIV/AIDS.
Education: Women now account for more than half the world’s university students, and 60 countries have more young women than men in universities. Primary-education disparities between boys and girls have closed in almost all nations. And in secondary education, girls now outnumber boys in 45 developing countries. But ethnicity combined with poverty can be a barrier: two-thirds of out-of-school girls around the world belong to ethnic minority groups.