Studies Show Greater Gender Equality Results in Life Expansion

Male & female symbol on  balanced scale


Male & female symbol on balanced scale

Kayla Bobb, Editor

According to PLOS Global Public Health, both men and women are likely to live longer when a country makes strides toward gender equality. 


“This International Women’s Day, let’s not forget that the evidence demonstrates that enhancing women’s representation across multiple sectors contributes to wealthier and, hence, healthier societies for all,” lead author Cat Pinho-Gomes, a researcher. “Globally, greater gender equality is associated with longer [life expectancy] for both women and men and a widening of the gender gap in [life expectancy]”


The World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index focuses on four factors. “Many of the factors that determine how long you will live — like working and living conditions, exposure to pollution, access to health care, education, income, and social support — are layered with gender differences around the world,” Pinho-Gomes explains. 47.8 percent of students believe education doesn’t affect how long you’ll live. Researchers argue otherwise. A researcher took interest in the political, economic, and educational factors of gender equality, and found out those factors had the strongest association with life expectancy. 


Pinho-Gomes states that emphasizing the importance of education, especially in low/middle-income countries where opportunities for girls are limited. Girls’ access to education has effects in the long term. Pinho-Gomes states that it’s not only in low/middle-income countries. “Even high-income countries — where substantial progress has been made to address gender inequalities in recent years — investing in gender equality may still benefit life expectancy, particularly for men,” she says.


So, what are ways we can encourage gender equality? Well, there are plenty of ways: 

  1. Stop comparing genders and being stereotypical about what a man or woman can or can’t do 
  2. Support organizations that advocate for equal rights 
  3. Creating petitions, protests, and speeches 
  4. Spreading awareness through social media and other sources
  5. Providing children and teens in school equal opportunities for success, sports, extracurriculars


Respecting other people like we’re all the same can encourage gender equality because, at the end of the day, we are all people. Treating people as if they’re just a person is better than treating them based on their gender.