Gender equality is included in 168 international constitutions but not in ours (source, Southern Legal Counsel as filed in their DC Circuit amicus brief). Our state department required Afghanistan to add gender equality to their constitution despite it missing in ours.
In 2018, the United States was ranked as the 10th most dangerous country in the world for women. We tied for third with Syria for countries where women most risked sexual violence, harassment and coercion into sex, and sixth regarding non-sexual violence such as domestic and mental abuse (source,Reuters). For more information on gender violence please see our FAQ “Gender Violence.”
Every year the World Economic Forum measures gender equality in countries around the world and America recently dropped below the top third.
This major drop in less than a decade is less about a devolving situation in America but is better described as lack of progress / stagnation as other countries have made tremendous efforts and progress. However, with COVID-19 hitting American women so hard, the gender gap and associated rankings will likely be much worse in the coming years. For more information on how COVID-19 is impacting gender equality, please see our FAQ “COVID-19.”
Similarly, when the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law examined laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees in 2019, again the United States fell just out of the top third for women across 187 economies. (source, World Bank Group).
America ranked below the group average inThe Economist’s 2021 Glass Ceiling Index. Of the 29 members of OECD ranked in the index, America was ranked 18th. (source, summary in Axios / details in The Economist (subscription required).
The gender equality gap is expected to close (on average, across all countries) in 99.5 years, the gender equality gap in America is not expected to close for 208 years (source, Equality Can’t Wait). Although nobody living today will see gender equality in their lifetime, we can work to ensure constitutional gender equality now.
Political gender parity in the United States is ranked 11th from the bottom for all countries in the Americas and Europe. The U.S. ranked 72 out of 82 countries in total (source, The Council on Foreign Relations). Gate-keeper institutions such as political parties practice explicit and implicit biases that reduce opportunities for women candidates (source, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).
Eighty-five percent of U.N. member states have constitutions that explicitly guarantee equality for women and girls. The United States is not one of these countries. Constitutional guarantees of gender equality have enabled national legal reforms that eliminated discriminatory statutes and have facilitated laws that protect women and girls. (source, Equality Now amicus brief filed in Virginia v Ferriero)
For more information on how the 28th Amendment (Equal Rights) would shore up our international standing and bring us into compliance(!?!) with international treaties we have signed, please review the Equality Now amicus brief filed in the Virginia v Ferriero case.