Situation of Gender Inequality in Portugal

Situation of Gender Inequality in Portugal

We will analyze the situation of gender inequality in Portugal, comparing it with the countries that are among those that have the best ranking in the human development index (HDI).

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We use the information contained in the 2019 United Nations Report and the group of countries classified as “very high” human development.

The Global Challenge to Combat Gender Inequality

Despite positive developments in many countries, we are far from achieving gender equality. At the pace of current developments, it will take about 200 years to close the gap.

These differences affect about half the world's population and are therefore a major barrier to human development. Too often women are discriminated against in access to health, education, at home, in the family and in the labor market.

Countries with “Very High” Human Development

For this comparative analysis, we chose the countries that have a better ranking for this human development indicator (HDI).

We removed three countries that, although they have a better ranking than Portugal, do not present complete information on gender inequality. Hong Kong, Liechtenstein and Andorra are in this situation.

Countries with “very high” development go up to position 62, but we consider that what would be interesting, was to compare them with those that have a better evaluation than the Portuguese, which is in 40th place.

We add Brazil, one of the Portuguese speaking countries, which is in the 79th ranking, among the countries of “high” human development.

The Situation of Gender Inequality in Portugal

Portugal, although in the 40th position in the HDI ranking, has a gender inequality index of 0,081 which makes it rise to the 17th position.

It is behind Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Norway, Belgium, Finland, France, Iceland, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Spain and Luxembourg.

Immediately below Portugal are countries like Canada, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK), Poland, Greece and the USA. All with a value above the OECD average.

Brazil is down 10 positions in gender inequality, in relation to its HDI ranking.

With regard to the parliamentary representation of women, Portugal with 34,8% is placed in 13th position, better than the United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland.

With regard to births to adolescent women, aged between 15 and 19 years, Portugal is in 25th position, with 8,4 births per 1000 women, very close to Germany with 8,1, but distant from the United Kingdom and the USA with 13,4 and 19,9, respectively. Brazil has 59,1 births per 1000 adolescents.

As for elementary education, gender inequality in Portugal translates into a relatively small difference, 53,6 and 54,8 (2,2%) respectively for women and men, although far from that affecting countries like Finland, Austria, Canada and USA.

Regarding the labor market, women in Iceland have the largest share, with 72,1, followed by New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden and Canada, the top 5 in the world. Portugal ranks 23rd in this ranking and Brazil 22nd.

The situation of gender inequality in Portugal, with regard to the wage gap, is 16% lower for women. The Council of Europe's Committee on Social Rights considers that Portugal should improve this situation since, in 2010 and according to Eurostat, women's wages were 12,8% lower than men's and that difference increased.

The full United Nations Report is available for download in the article “Human Development Index in Portugal”. Click the button below.

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