It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Joe Myers Writer, Formative Content


  • This year marks the 100th anniversary of US women getting the right to vote.
  • But data from the Global Gender Report shows there’s still a long way to go to reach gender parity in the US and globally.
  • Globally, we’re another 100 years away from equality.

On 18 August 2020 it was the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment – which guaranteed all US women the right to vote.

It was preceded by decades of protest and struggle. The amendment was first introduced in Congress nearly half a century earlier, in 1878.

By 1912, nine western states had adopted suffrage legislation, but it wasn’t until 1918 that President Woodrow Wilson changed his position to support the amendment.

The House of Representatives and Senate passed it in 1919. And when, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it on 18 August 1920, it was adopted.

Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house, 1917
Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house, 1917. Image: Wikimedia Commons

100 years on…

So, 100 years after the 19th Amendment was ratified, what’s the state of gender equality in the US today?

It came 53rd of 153 economies in the latest World Economic Gender Gap Report, suggesting there’s still work to be done. The report – published pre-pandemic – puts the United States just below Cape Verde, Luxembourg and Bangladesh.

gender parity equality women United States Global Gender Gap Report
Work to do. Image: World Economic Forum – Gender Gap Report 2020

The reasons? Progress towards parity is stalling, says the report. Wage and income gaps remain large – just 65.6% of the income gap is closed. And, while women are relatively well represented in middle and high management roles, less than a quarter of corporate managing board members are women.

women leadership corporate board of directors gender parity
Lacking leadership? Image: World Economic Forum – Global Gender Gap Report 2020

Equally, 100 years after they won the right to vote, women are under-represented in political leadership roles. There has been a significant increase in the number of women in parliament in ministerial positions, though.

Gender parity is “virtually achieved” in the health and educational attainment indices. Indeed, women outnumber the number of men in tertiary education. Female enrolment rates are also above 90% across all education levels.

…and 100 years to go

The report offers sobering news: globally gender parity won’t be attained for another 99.5 years, and in the US, that figure rises to 151 years.

And, while women across the globe are benefiting from greater political representation, the report cautions it’s still the worst performing area.

women political empowerment politics gender equality
Women are underrepresented globally. Image: World Economic Forum – Global Gender Gap Report 2020

Women still account for just 25% of available parliamentary positions globally. And, the picture is worse at ministerial level – with women securing just 21% of positions. Over the last half century, there are also 85 countries that have had no female head of state.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

There are 3 barriers blocking good menstrual hygiene for all women. Here’s how we overcome them

Better outreach to citizens needed to improve effectiveness of European Commission’s public consultations, say Auditors

‘Global clarion call’ for youth to shape efforts to forge peace in the most dangerous combat zones

The ECB must extend its money stimulus beyond 2018: Draghi reckoning

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

Why collective action is the key to saving our forests

Drones, disinfectant, distancing – Europe’s beaches open up

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

3 hard-won lessons from a decade of negative cleantech returns

Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

MEPs wants to increase research funding to €120 billion in 2021-2027

EU and Japan select first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes

Iran: women hunger strikers entitled to medical care, UN rights experts urge

EU investment budget for 2020: A boost for the climate

Wages are flatlining around the world – is automation to blame?

Digital transformation and the rise of the ‘superjob’

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

Germany takes cover from Trump in Eurozone and decides to pay for it

Not enough resettlement solutions for refugees worldwide, says UN

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

Pumping more money into banks but leaving them unregulated doesn’t help

COVID-19: research package welcomed, EU needs to be better equipped in future

UN makes ‘declaration of digital interdependence’, with release of tech report

What slums can teach us about building the cities of the future

Global Talent – Professional Internships

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

It’s ‘time for concrete action’ says UN chief, welcoming inter-Korean agreement

EU budget: Commission proposes to increase funding to support the environment and climate action

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

The Commission neglects the services sector and favours industry

State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak

Juncker Plan reaches almost €410 billion in triggered investment across the EU

The rise of alternative medical practices in modern sports

Central African Republic militia leader and football executive, transferred to ICC

Top UN court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

Burundi: Inclusive dialogue ‘only viable option’ for resolving country’s political crisis says, UN envoy

Busting the myths about coronavirus

Over 330,000 Congolese migrants at risk after mass deportations from Angola – UN rights chief

This Kenyan company makes fuel from human poo

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Member States agree to Commission proposal to support Irish beef producers impacted by market uncertainty

Long-term EU budget: The Union’s ambitions must be matched with sufficient reliable funding

Mexico: Helping refugees go into business, a ‘win-win situation’, says UNHCR’s Grandi

Women in video games: ‘Accept it, or don’t buy the game’

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

Multilateralism must weather ‘challenges of today and tomorrow’ Guterres tells Paris Peace Forum

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

To recruit younger people, you have to understand them. Here’s a guide

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

Afghans entitled to live ‘free from fear, intimidation’, says UN chief, condemning suicide attacks

Glasgow and Edinburgh race to become the UK’s first net-zero emissions city

If this is Globalization 4.0, what were the other three?

The banks dragged Eurozone down to fiscal abyss

Listen to the future – how 26 youth-led organizations are supercharging the UN’s Global Goals

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s