From Pay Gap to Power Gap: 15 Evident Signs of Gender Inequality in Today’s Society

Olu Ojo
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From Pay Gap to Power Gap: 15 Evident Signs of Gender Inequality in Today’s Society

Despite the progress made in recent years, gender inequality remains a significant issue worldwide. Women continue to face discrimination and unequal treatment in various aspects of life, from education and employment to political representation and societal expectations.

This post will explore 15 real-time examples of gender inequality that highlight the need for a continued push for gender equality.

Unequal Pay for Equal Work

Inequality at work
Source: Canva

The gender pay gap persists in many countries, with women earning less than men for the same job. According to the World Economic Forum, the global gender pay gap will take an estimated 135.6 years to close. This pay disparity perpetuates financial insecurity and impacts women’s ability to access essential resources.

In the U.S., the famous soccer player Megan Rapinoe and her teammates filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for being paid significantly less than their male counterparts, despite their outstanding performances and achievements.

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Occupational Segregation

Occupational segregation
Source: Canva

Women are underrepresented in high-paying industries and overrepresented in low-wage occupations. This is often referred to as the “pink-collar ghetto,” where women are disproportionately found in traditionally female-dominated fields such as nursing, teaching, and administrative roles.

The tech industry is known for being male-dominated, with women making up only 25% of the workforce. This underrepresentation can be attributed to various factors, including biased hiring practices and workplace culture.

Limited Access to Education

Girl Child education
source: Canva

Girls in many parts of the world still face barriers to education, with 132 million girls out of school globally. In some cases, girls are discouraged from pursuing education due to social norms, child marriage, or lack of resources.

In rural areas of Afghanistan, girls’ education is often restricted due to ongoing conflict, cultural norms, and lack of resources. Many girls are unable to attend a school or must walk long distances, putting their safety at risk.

Barriers to Reproductive Rights

Reproductive Rights
source: Canva

Access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services is limited for many women. Some countries have restrictive abortion laws, while others lack adequate resources for contraception and reproductive healthcare, leaving women with limited control over their reproductive choices.

The 2021 Texas abortion law, Senate Bill 8, prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, severely limiting women’s access to reproductive healthcare and their ability to make decisions about their bodies.

Workplace Discrimination

Workplace discrimination
source: Canva

Women face both overt and subtle discrimination in the workplace. This may include being passed over for promotions, receiving lower pay, or experiencing hostile work environments due to their gender.

A high-profile example is the 2018 Google walkout, where employees protested against the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and the systemic discrimination faced by female employees.

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Inadequate Representation in Politics

female politician
source: Canva

Globally, women hold only 25.5% of parliamentary seats, demonstrating that they remain underrepresented in decision-making roles. This impacts the development and implementation of policies that address gender equality and other issues affecting women.

In the U.S., Kamala Harris made history as the first female Vice President, highlighting the long-standing underrepresentation of women in the country’s highest political offices.

Limited Access to Healthcare

rural india
source: India

In some regions, women face difficulties accessing healthcare services due to limited resources, cultural barriers, or prohibitive costs. This can result in a lack of preventative care and increased vulnerability to health problems.

In rural India, women often face difficulties accessing healthcare services due to a lack of medical facilities, transportation, or cultural barriers that prevent them from seeking care.

Gender-Based Violence

Stop GBV
source: Canva

Women worldwide are at risk of gender-based violence, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, and harassment. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence during their lifetime.

The #MeToo movement brought attention to the widespread issue of sexual harassment and assault, with women from various industries sharing their experiences and demanding change.

Human Trafficking and Exploitation

Woman escape from hand
Source: Canva

Women and girls make up the majority of victims of human trafficking, often forced into sexual exploitation and forced labor. This is a gross violation of human rights, and it disproportionately affects women and girls.

The 2020 case of Jeffrey Epstein highlights the prevalence of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, where young girls were recruited and coerced into sex trafficking by a wealthy and influential individual.

Unequal Burden of Unpaid Work

too much work
source: Canva

Women spend a disproportionate amount of time on unpaid work, such as domestic chores and caregiving responsibilities. This unpaid labor leaves less time for paid employment and perpetuates the gender pay gap and economic inequality.

A working mother in Japan might be expected to manage household chores and childcare duties in addition to her full-time job, creating a “second shift” of unpaid labor that disproportionately affects women.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

female reproductive system
source: Canva

FGM is a harmful practice that affects over 200 million women and girls worldwide. It involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons and can cause severe health problems and long-term psychological trauma.

In countries like Somalia and Sudan, FGM is still widely practiced despite international efforts to end the harmful procedure. Girls are subjected to this practice, often without their consent, as part of cultural traditions.

Child Marriage

source: Marriage

Globally, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 each year. Child marriage robs girls of their childhood, disrupts their education, and exposes them to various health risks. In Bangladesh, the rate of child marriage remains high, with 59% of girls being married before the age of 18. Poverty and social norms contribute to this ongoing issue.

Discriminatory Laws

Woman suffering from gender discrimination
source: Canva

Laws that discriminate against women, such as those that limit property ownership, inheritance, or employment opportunities, perpetuate gender inequality. In some countries, women are even legally required to obey their husbands.

In Saudi Arabia, prior to 2018, women were legally required to have a male guardian’s permission to travel, work, marry, or even seek medical treatment, highlighting the deeply entrenched gender discrimination.

Societal Expectations and Stereotypes

Gender Stereotypes
Source: Canva

Gender stereotypes and societal expectations continue to reinforce traditional gender roles, restricting women’s potential and opportunities. Women are often expected to prioritize family life and caregiving roles over career advancement, while men are encouraged to pursue professional success.

The expectation for women in South Korea to adhere to strict beauty standards and undergo plastic surgery exemplifies societal pressure to conform to gender norms.

Lack of Access to Financial Services

access to financial services
source: Canva

Women are less likely to have access to formal financial services, such as bank accounts, credit, or loans. This limits their ability to invest in education, start businesses, or achieve financial independence.

In rural Nigeria, women entrepreneurs may face difficulties accessing loans or credit from formal financial institutions, limiting their ability to start or grow businesses and achieve financial independence.

These 15 examples of gender inequality demonstrate that the fight for women’s rights and gender equality is far from over. Achieving true equality requires addressing these and other disparities in education, healthcare, politics, and the workplace. As a society, we must continue to challenge and dismantle the barriers that hold women back and work towards a more equitable future for all.


  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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