Last Updated on September 25, 2023 by Karl Thompson
The gap between men and women in terms of pay, and representation in big companies is decreasing rapidly, but significant inequalities remain in both of these areas, domestic life, and chances of being a victim of sexual assault. All of this is despite the fact that girls have been outperforming boys at GCSE (and above) for decades. The only area of life where there seems to be equality is reported happiness levels, yet women still report slightly higher anxiety levels.
This post summarises statistics from six key areas of social life:
- income – the gender pay gap.
- domestic life – amount of time spent on leisure and unpaid work
- economic power – the proportion of women represented on the boards of large companies
- education – GCSE results
- crime – the number of men and women who have been victims of sexual assault.
- well being – reported levels of happiness and anxiety.
There are a lot statistics available on gender inequality (both in the UK and worldwide) and here I’ve tried to select just six key statistics that summarize the state of gender inequality today.
I’ve kept the data to a minimum so as to avoid information overload, as this post is written as part of an introduction to A-level sociology for students in their first week of study. I’ve also deliberately selected data that is relevant to the topics students are likely to be studying deeper into the A-level, such as families and households and education, so they can get a first look at it now.
If you want to find out more about trends in gender equality in the U.K. I recommend the U.K. Government’s Gender Equality Monitor, which tracks progress towards gender equality. This recent report was very much the basis for this post!
NB – you’ll find it easier just read the charts if you click here to get to my Tableau Public page where I’ve stored all of the data visualizations below.
Women’s Income compared to men’s
The gender pay gap has fallen by about 10 percentage points since 1997, but the pay gap remains at just below 9%.
Source: ONS: Gender Pay Gap in the UK, 2018.
Number of women running big companies
Source: Hampton-Alexander Review FTSE Women Leaders Improving gender balance in FTSE Leadership, November 2018.
The 9-4 and 9-5 GCSE pass rates for girls are both approximately 7% higher than the corresponding pass rate for boys.
Leisure and unpaid work
Women report having an hour less leisure time per day and do an hour’s more unpaid work per day than men
Source: ONS analysis of UK Harmonised European Time Use Survey (HETUS), 2015.
Chances of being a victim of sexual assault
While the rates of BCS reported sexual assaults against females have fallen significantly, females are still more than three times more likely to be victims than males.
Happiness and anxiety
Despite all of the above the reported happiness levels are almost identical for both males and females, and female anxiety levels are only slighter higher than male anxiety levels!
Source: ONS, Personal well-being estimates in the UK: October 2016 to September 2017.
Conclusions/ about this post
Hopefully you found this post useful, writing it has been a bit of a learning curve as I’m currently teaching myself how to use Tableau to do data visualizations.
You might like to cross-reference this post with the four Feminist Theories you need to now about for A-level Sociology (Radical, Liberal, Marxist and Difference Feminisms) and consider which theories the above data support or criticise.
The Equality Monitor Report of 2019 gathered a lot of data together in one report, but in 2023 you need to go to different sources to gather more up to date data.
FTSE Women Leaders: 2023 Review: Achieving Gender Balance.
OFQUAL: GCSE outcomes in England
Census 2021: Families and the Labour Market