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Understanding Gender Inclusion to Promote Equality

Woman in focus facing away to group of blurred women watching and clapping

Around the world, women experience discrimination, inequality, and mistreatment in their public and private lives. This presents major human rights implications. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): “For women to be able to fully exercise their human rights, gender perspectives have to be mainstreamed in all inclusive urban policies.”

Towards this goal, UN Women sets four strategic priorities for women:

  • Participating in and benefiting from governance systems
  • Decent work, economic autonomy, and income security
  • Freedom from violence
  • Contributing to the development of sustainable peace and resilience; benefiting from disaster and conflict prevention

To reduce discrimination and create a more equal world, both the public and private sectors must address disparities and prioritize gender inclusion. 


Gender Disparities & Inequality

When gender disparities and inequalities are allowed to persist, it effectively excludes more than 50% of the population from full participation in society. Across all areas, decision-makers must consider the current state of inclusion and develop strategies and policies to correct disparities. Currently, the following areas are particularly critical:  

Women in Leadership

Historically, the vast majority of leadership positions within governments, multilateral organizations, and companies are held by men. Excluding women from these high-level roles makes it less likely that women’s needs and perspectives will be considered in key decisions. 

In the political realm, female leaders often help promote policies that serve women’s needs and are beneficial for gender inclusion within society, such as childcare legislation. Yet in October 2020, women held the highest position of executive power in just 14 of the 193 United Nations (UN) member states.

Similarly, in the private sector, women make up just 10% of all C-suite executives despite research suggesting that female-led companies perform better.


Gender Inclusion in Education

The world is home to 796 million people who are illiterate, two-thirds of whom are women. Globally, girls are less likely to receive secondary education than their male peers. In rural areas, just 39% of girls attend secondary school compared to 45% of boys. 

To reduce discrimination and create a more equal world, both the public and private sectors must address disparities and prioritize gender inclusion. 

Gender inclusion in education is not only beneficial for females but their entire communities. According to the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), each additional year of secondary education a girl receives increases her earning by up to 19%, the infant mortality rate by as much as 10%, and the country’s resilience to climate disasters by up to 3.2 points. 


Gender Differences in Health Knowledge

As a general rule, females are more likely to seek health information than males and tend to have higher health literacy. That said, women with less formal education may be at a disadvantage. 

Low health literacy is associated with poor outcomes for the patient, but the knowledge of women can also affect their families. Research suggests that the children of well-educated mothers are less likely to require hospitalization. 


Why Do Leaders Need Real-Time Insight on Gender Inclusion?

Decision-makers need up-to-date, relevant insight to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, the findings of surveys and other traditional research methods are frequently outdated before they’re even complete.  

UNESCO recommends gender mainstreaming to improve inclusion. This involves “the deliberate consideration of gender in all stages of program and policy planning, implementation and evaluation, with a view to incorporate the impacts of gender at all levels of decision making.”

However, without a strong understanding of women’s current role within society, leaders may struggle to formulate a clear plan of action. 

Artificial intelligence presents a possible solution. Since machine learning and natural language processing can aggregate and interpret large volumes of unstructured data in real time, decision-makers have access to insights within days rather than months. Having a snapshot of the current state of gender inclusion makes leaders more agile in a rapidly changing world.  


Citibeats is an AI social understanding platform that interprets citizen feedback in real time to generate actionable insights. We analyze gender inclusion narratives to give decision-makers an overview of issues affecting society. In addition, our comprehensive suite of customer solutions addresses today’s most pressing issues, including migration, sustainability, vaccines, and more. Schedule a demo to discuss how Citibeats can help you make better decisions faster.