Just How Imbalanced Are Gender Ratios On The World Stage?

The disparity is deafening.

The G20 summit held in Guangzhou, China this past weekend presented the opportunity for an amusing Photoshop battle between Presidents Obama and Vladimir Putin, but it was also serious business. Among other issues, leaders from major economies gathered to talk about Syria, climate change, and growing populism around the world. 

But one photo shared by Wall Street Journal reporter Te-Ping Chen showed the ubiquity of gender inequality that exists even in global leadership.

The image was of world leaders posing for a photo at the conference. Of the 36 leaders in the photo, only four were women. "The lack of women in global leadership can feel pretty abstract," Chen tweeted. "This image really brings it home, though."


Her tweet sparked a discussion about female leaders. "Extra depressingly this is probably a pretty woman-rich G20 photo too," one CNN reporter James Griffith responded

Despite the lack of female representation in global leadership today, many have begun looking towards the progress they see in the future. Theresa May is now the U.K.'s prime minister, following the fallout from Brexit. If Hillary Clinton wins the election, the United States will have its first-ever female president and three of the world's top economies — the U.K., the U.S. and Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel — will be led by women. Two of the most powerful financial institutions, the Federal Reserve Board and the International Monetary Fund, are currently run by women. The next United Nations secretary general could also be a woman. 

While this image from the G20 is a reminder of how the fight for gender equality is by no means over, there is hope that there will be a shift in gender representation on this stage in the coming years.

Cover image via Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com


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