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Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2022: The levers for change

UN Women Unstereotype Alliance




Influencing Gender Norms

Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2022: The levers for change

Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2022: The levers for change

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) defines gender stereotyping as a persistent hidden barrier to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Prejudiced social norms are threatening gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. They also negatively impact the social, economic, and sustainable development of countries.  

Gender Equality Attitudes Study 2022: The levers for change aims to measure the prevalence of discriminatory attitudes of gender-based stereotypes perpetuating gender equality, and exhibit how widespread and deeply embedded these views are. Some of the study’s thematic areas include education, health, control over personal decisions, domestic violence, and leadership.   

The findings are meant to inform policymakers, representatives from academia, advertisers, marketers, private sector leaders, civil society, and other decision-makers about the prevalence of discriminatory attitudes and norms that continue to encourage gender inequality. The research also provides insights on leveraging attitudinal change as a crucial tactic toward the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and notably Sustainable Development Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. 


  • Despite areas of improvement and some promising indicators, the findings demonstrate that discriminatory social norms and attitudes continue to hinder progress for women and girls everywhere.  
  • The findings reflect those of other UN Women studies on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the lives of women and girls in perceptions about gender. 
  • Men are more likely than women to endorse traditional roles, with 40% of male respondents agreeing that ‘a man’s job is to earn money while a woman’s job is to look after the house and the family’, compared to 31% of female respondents. 
  • As women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of decision-making worldwide, 5 82% of respondents agree that having more opportunities for women in politics is important for their country’s success. 
  • The vast majority of those surveyed agree that equal pay for equal work is important to their country’s future success – the most important driver on average.  
  • Sixty two percent of all respondents agree that women call attention to themselves based on how they dress, with men more likely to hold this view. However, the extent of agreement varies enormously between countries. 
  • Education drives more progressive attitudes across all dimensions for both genders. Women and men who are highly educated are much more likely to champion gender equality for current and future generations. 
  • Respondents believe that the media portray women and men in traditional roles and this perception has increased significantly since 2018.  
  • Young women aged 16-19 expect equality, and they are not afraid to voice this. The vast majority (87%) believe it is essential for society to treat women as equal to men, compared to 81% of men in the same age cohort.  


  • 1 Introduction 
    • 1.1 Methodology and design 
    • 1.2 Executive summary 
  • 2 The importance of gender equality 
    • 2.1 Female youth lead the pack 
  • 3 Barriers at the individual and household level 
    • 3.1 Control over personal decisions  
      • 3.1.a Access to physical property 
      • 3.1.b Control over personal finances 
      • 3.1.c Influence over who to marry 
    • 3.2 Family roles and responsibilities 
    • 3.3 Safety from domestic violence 
  • 4 Barriers at the societal level 
    • 4.1 Education and health care 
      • 4.1.a Education 
      • 4.1.b Health care 
    • 4.2 Work/employment 
    • 4.3 Leadership and political participation 
    • 4.4 Barriers to safety in public spaces 
      • 4.4.a Safety at home versus public spaces 
      • 4.b Barriers to safety in the workplace 
      • 4.5 Gender stereotypes in the media 
  • 5 The gender gaps 
  • 6. Findings by country 
    • 6.1 Austria 
    • 6.2 Brazil 
    • 6.3 Colombia 
    • 6.4 Denmark 
    • 6.5 France 
    • 6.6 India 
    • 6.7 Japan 
    • 6.8 Kenya 
    • 6.9 Mexico 
    • 6.10 Nigeria 
    • 6.11 The Philippines 
    • 6.12 Poland 
    • 6.13 Senegal 
    • 6.14 South Africa 
    • 6.15 Spain 
    • 6.16 Sweden 
    • 6.17 Turkey  
    • 6.18 United Arab Emirates 
    • 6.19 United States of America 
    • 6.20 Viet Nam  

This study was originally published on the Unstereotype Alliance website. 

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