By Jillian Kramer. Photos: Getty Images.
Just days after women marched around the world for International Women's Day, a depressing new study has come to light: One-third of women don't actually think gender equality is possible—and millennial women are leading the pessimistic pack.
Western Union partnered with Research Now to survey 5,000 women spanning several generations and continents to gather their thoughts on how women and girls are viewed. Women in Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States all weighed in, and though more than 60 percent of those surveyed said women should strive for gender equality at work and in schools, 33 percent of women believed these efforts would be in vain because they'll never achieve it.
What's perhaps worse is the fact that the youngest working generation, millennials, has a more grim outlook on gender equality than other generations. About 78 percent of millennial women around the globe—compared to 60 percent of seniors and 63 percent of Baby Boomers—feel limited by their gender. And millennials are more likely than any other generation to think girls have unrealistic expectations for their future success.
In the U.S., women are slightly more optimistic than women in the rest of the world: Only 20 percent believe that gender equality is impossible—but 80 percent say it won't happen in the next five years. What's holding U.S. women back? Here, 69 percent of women think their gender is asked to take on responsibilities that men simply are not, and 73 percent believe men and boys still think they're superior to women.
To combat the problem of gender inequality, women around the world identified two key areas we all need to work on: Providing educational programs that teach girls to be effective leaders, and gaining gender equality n the workplace, such as closing the wage gap.
"These results are sobering," said Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek, "and show that all of us—as business leaders, global citizens, and parents—have a long way to go to achieve gender equality."
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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