Check the facts
Quiz answers and sources.
Question 1. Out of the 193 countries worldwide, how many women are currently heads of state or government?
Correct answer: 21
In September 2020, 21 women act as the head of state or government in 193 countries around the world. The world’s first elected female leader is generally considered to be Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who came to power in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, in 1960. Since then, there have been a total of over 90 elected female leaders around the world, which is significantly lower than that of male world leaders.
As of February 2019, only 3 countries have 50 percent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda with 61.3 percent, Cuba with 53.2 percent and Bolivia with 53.1 per cent.
- Council on Foreign Relations (2020). “Women’s Power Index”.
- Wikipedia (2021). “How many female world leaders are there?”.
- UN Women (2019). “Facts and figures: Leadership and political participation“.
Question 2. How many women and girls worldwide are subjected to sexual and/or physical violence by an intimate partner?
Correct answer: 243 million
In April 2020, it was reported by UN Women that 243 million women and girls worldwide aged 15-49 had been subjected to sexual and/or physical violence by an intimate partner in the previous 12 months. Some national studies show that up to 70 percent of women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Women and girls with disabilities are further at risk, and experience up to 10 times more violence than those without disabilities.
Violence against women and girls is a severe human rights violation. Emerging data show that violence against women and girls has intensified since the outbreak of COVID-19, especially violence at home.
- UN Women (2020). “From Insight to Action. Gender Equality in the Wake of Covid-19”.
- UN Women (2020). “Facts and figures: Ending violence against women”.
- UN Women (2020). “Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women (pdf)”.
- World Bank et al. (2019). “Brief On Violence Against Women and Girls With Disabilities”.
Question 3. How many of the world’s 774 million illiterate adults are women?
Correct answer: 65 %
65 percent of the world’s illiterate adults are women. This equals 516 million. Less than 40 percent of countries provide girls and boys with equal access to education, and girls are more likely to never enter primary school than boys. It is estimated that, globally, about 10 million more secondary school girls could be out of school due to COVID-19.
- UNESCO (2014). “Women and Girls’ education – facts and figures”.
- Plan International (2020). “Under Siege. Impact of COVID-19 on Girls in Africa”.
Question 4. If women participate equally to men in labor markets, how much could be added to global annual GDP by 2025?
Correct answer: As much as $28 trillion
The value of goods and services produced globally (global GDP) could be increased with 26%, as much as $28 trillion annually. This is equivalent to the combined US and China economies today. Global labor force participation rate for women aged 25-54 is 63 percent compared to 94 percent for men, and only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs (chief executive officers) are women.
- UN Women (2018). “Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment”.
- World Economic Forum (2017). “7 myth-busting reasons we should be investing in women”.
Question 5. How many girls are married before the age of 18 each day?
Correct answer: 33 000
33 000 girls every day. Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 23 girls every minute. Globally, more than 650 million women and girls have been child brides.
Women and girls with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be child brides. Child marriage violates girls’ rights to health, education and opportunity. It exposes girls to violence throughout their lives, and traps them in a cycle of poverty. The total effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to result in 13 million additional child marriages between 2020 and 2030.
- Unicef (2020). “Child marriage”.
- UNFPA (2020). “New UNFPA projections predict calamitous impact on women’s health as COVID-19 pandemic continues”.
- UN Women (2017). “Making the SDGs count for women and girls with disabilities”.
Question 6. How many women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth?
Correct answer: 808
Approximately 808 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth globally. This is about one woman every two minutes!
For every woman who dies, an estimated 20 or 30 encounter injuries, infections or disabilities. Most of these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable. Furthermore, in many countries, when mothers die their families are much more vulnerable, and their infants are more likely to die before reaching their second birthday.
- UNFPA (2020): Maternal health | UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund
Question 7. How many countries (of the 129 studied) are on track to achieve the sustainable development goal number five on gender equality by 2030?
Correct answer: None.
The 2019 Global Goals Gender Index, published by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership, found that, across the 129 countries studied, no country has fully achieved the promise of gender equality envisioned in the 2030 Agenda.
The COVID-19-pandemic exacerbates existing inequalities for women and girls across every sphere – from health and the economy, to security and social protection. Consequently, it is even less likely that the Global Goal #5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) will be achieved by 2030.