Full report
Published: 13 July 2022

Global Gender Gap Report 2022

2.8 Gender gaps in stress levels

Between 1990 and 2019, the global prevalence of mental, anxiety and depressive disorders in women increased in higher proportion than it did for men, which is having a disproportionately larger impact on girls as young as 15-19. In 2019, mental disorders became the seventh-leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years, which has increased the proportion and gender disparity in the global disease burden derived from mental conditions.17

Data from Hologic documented the levels of negative emotions - stress, sadness, worry and anger - that men and women were experiencing in 2020 and 2021 as a proportion of their overall health. The data shows that between 2020 and 2021, overall levels of stress, sadness, worry and anger increased by 1% among women, and were 4% higher in women than in men.

Data in Figure 2.16 shows that in 2021, high levels of stress were reported by men and women who were unemployed. Between 2020 and 2021 stress increased for most women regardless of employment status: self-employed women (+4 percentage-points), women in part-time employment not seeking full-time employment (+4 percentage-points), as well as women who are out of the workforce and unemployed (+3 percentage points). The one category in which stress among women decreased was among those employed part-time and seeking full-time work. Conversely, that was the only category of men whose stress increased between 2020 and 2021. For men in all other categories of employment, stress decreased in 2021.

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