Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Bonnie VanNess

Relational Format



This thesis seeks to examine the ways in which women are disadvantaged in their participation in formal employment and participation and attainment in education relative to men across the world. Furthermore, this analysis examines the economic impacts of inequalities in education and employment at a macroeconomic level and on an individual level. Most data is compiled from various Non-Governmental Organizations that fund and orchestrate global research on gender equality. The results of this research consistently indicate that women continue to face systematic disadvantages in employment, wages, occupation, upward mobility in occupations, hours worked, entrepreneurship, burden of unpaid work, educational attainment, and types of education. Furthermore, it was found that the economic impacts of the lack of gender parity in employment are extremely large and significant. In many areas of the world regional economies could see substantial growth from women increasing their participation in the economy to the same rate as men. Similar economic returns could be seen from increased female educational attainment, both on the societal and individual level. Aside from the economic impacts from education and employment parity, there are also social benefits for women who can gain more autonomy and decision making power through access to education and employment. Overall, there are important benefits to gender parity in education and employment, but achieving these goals will require substantial commitment and efforts from governments, organizations, and the population in general. Many systemic factors impede forward progress for women and they can only be addressed through continued policy implementation and other initiatives that incentivize and normalize gender equality in education and employment.



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