Gender Inequality

A 5,000-year-old history of the gender gap

image of a woman holding up a sign celebrating women's right to vote

After a long history of inequality, much work still needs to be done in order to close the gender gap. Image: Unsplash/Jonnelle Yankovich

Arash Nekoei
Assistant Professor of Economics, IIES-Stockholm
Fabian Sinn
PhD student in Economics, IIES-Stockholm
Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Gender Inequality is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Gender Inequality

Have you read?
a graph showing women’s share at the top of social hierarchy over history
This shows that world had actually progressed quite far already a long time ago with regards to gender equality, before regressing. Image: VoxEu
a graph showing women’s share of ‘self-mades’ over history
This graph shows a rising prevalence of women who were not born into families or married to males with power and fame. Image: VoxEu
a graph showing women’s share of writers over history
Overall, there has been a steady increase of women writers over the centuries. Image: VoxEu
Fraction studied at university over history
'Self-made successful women have become a ubiquitous phenomenon in the recent period.' Image: VoxEu
graphs showing women’s share of pre-1800 writers vs share of ‘self-mades’
There was a broader take-off of self-made women around the 1800 birth cohort. Image: VoxEu

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the gender gap?

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Gender InequalityFuture of Work
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Global gender parity in less than 131 years? Here's what needs to happen, say experts

Kate Whiting

September 27, 2023

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum