Knowledge Center

First Step: Women in the World

Now more than ever before, women around the world are poised to make significant progress. Large-scale changes in every region could lead to advances for women—as well as progress for countries and entire regions—if well leveraged by societies, governments, and businesses.

This report explores women’s status through the lens of shifting demographics, improving education, and stalled progress toward equality for women.

Some takeaways:

  • Much of the world is aging, some areas at a rapid rate.
  • The youngest populations are in less developed regions.
  • More people are being educated around the world, but basic literacy and schooling for boys and girls has made slow progress.
  • Tertiary education is growing globally, and the gender balance is shifting toward women in many regions.

The economic empowerment of women can improve a country’s growth and stability, combat shrinking labor forces in countries with aging workforces, and contribute to wider economic development in developing countries, especially if employment leads to women’s lower fertility rates, longer tenures in the workforce, and increased investment in the education of children.

View The Ripple Effect: Women in the World for a visual representation of the report's highlights.