Why Women: Helpful Facts, Statistics and Research

7 Unique Challenges Women Experiencing Homelessness Face and What You Can Do To Help

Women experiencing homelessness face a myriad of gender based challenges, which further complicate their already strenuous circumstance. Among these challenges include: decreased personal safety for women experiencing homelessness; the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness; the high rates of mental illness among women experiencing homelessness; the overlap of homelessness and gender inequities in the workforce; the lack of access to menstruation products; the difficulty in accessing comprehensive maternal health care; and the heightened burden of childcare on women with children. For further details on gender based challenges faced by women who experience homelessness and what you can do to help, please visit  https://mashable.com/2016/04/13/homeless-women-challenges/

CITATION: Dupere, Katie. “7 Unique Challenges Homeless Women Face — and What You Can Do to Help.” Mashable, April 13, 2016. https://mashable.com/2016/04/13/homeless-women-challenges/. 

Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Women are on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in health care settings and in-home care, in the family and in the public sphere. While data are still scarce, it is evident that women are essential actors in this unfolding worldwide crisis. I call on all countries to accelerate efforts towards the empowerment of women and girls and towards improving the evidence base to monitor progress: data gaps in the coverage of key gender topics need to be filled, timeliness and comparability of data over time and across countries need to be improved, and data disaggregation and dissemination by age, sex, location and other key variables need to become a priority in order to fully measure and address intersecting inequalities, respond to crises, and ensure gender equality by 2030.”

Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin

Facts and figures: Ending violence against women

Worldwide, women everyday are impacted by gender based violence. For instance, there are an estimated 736 million women who have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life; women and girls account for 72% of all human trafficking victims; and 15 million girls, ages 15-19, have experienced forced sex by a spouse, partner or boyfried. The UN Women established a global database which compiles data on the forms and rates of gender-based violence and the actions taken by governments worldwide to address violence against women and girls. In response to gender based violence, 155 countries passed laws on domestic violence, 140 countries have laws protecting against sexual harassment in the workplace, and 121 countries have adopted measures to strengthen services for women survivors of violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the global data and policy responses, please visit https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures.

CITATION: “Facts and Figures: Ending Violence against Women: What We Do.” UN Women. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures.

Combating Discrimination Against Women

International human rights efforts, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), have been put in place to end gender-based discrimination and achieve gender equality. Under international human rights law, every person is guaranteed the right to enjoy their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights equally without discrimination. However, around the world, discriminatory laws continue to give women the status of ‘second-class citizen’ when concerning their nationality, citizenship, health, education, marital rights, employment rights, parental rights, inheritance and property rights. The battle of achieving equality is one that women have fought and continue to fight everyday. Today, the majority of the world’s poorest population is made up of women – a number that has increased by 50% since 1975. At most, ten percent of the world’s income is earned by women although they produce two-thirds of the world’s working hours and produce half of the world’s food. Women own less than 1% of the world’s property and in some countries are not allowed to drive, work, divorce, remarry, go to school or inherit property at all. The aforementioned are just some of the discriminatory practices faced by women,  if you want to learn more about inequities  and the global efforts to reach gender equality, please visit 


CITATION: “Combating Discrimination against Women.” OHCHR. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ABOUTUS/Pages/DiscriminationAgainstWomen.aspx. 


World Human Rights Day Symbol

The Basic Facts About Women in Poverty

Women in the United States experience higher rates of poverty compared to their male counterparts. In 2018, out of the 38.1 million people living in poverty, 21.4 million (56%) were women. Black, Latinx, American Indian and Alaska Native women are disproportionately represented among women living in poverty. Institutional structures affected by sexist and racist policies such as gender wage gap, occupational segregation, lack of supportive work-family policies, domestic violence, and inadequate and inaccessible public supports have led to higher rates of poverty among women – significantly impacting on women of color. To lift women out of poverty and ensure lasting economic security, policy solutions must address gender based discriminations and racial inequities. To learn more about the root causes of women in poverty and policy solutions, please visit https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/08/03/488536/basic-facts-women-poverty/.

CITATION: Robin Bleiweis, Diana Boesch. “The Basic Facts About Women in Poverty.” Center for American Progress. Accessed June 8, 2021. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/08/03/488536/basic-facts-women-poverty/. 

Getty/Joe Raedle

A Year Later, Who Is Back to Work and Who Is Not?

Exploring the economic impacts of COVID-19 in the workforce, this article highlights those who are still, a year later, feeling its effects. Since the start of the pandemic, women have found themselves to be disproportionately impacted in the job sector, particularly because of the intersection between needing to care for their children and the lack of child care. However, relative to other demographic groups and in proportion to their pre-pandemic employment levels, Black and Hispanic women have suffered incremental job losses and few job gains during COVID-19. Respectively, there are 10% and 24% fewer Black and Hispanic women who are employed compared to last year. Industries, such as services and hospitality, in which women of color are primarily employed have felt the greatest impact. This article illustrates how minority women have and continue to be disproportionately impacted in ways that their counterparts have not. To learn more about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, please visit https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/09/business/economy/covid-employment-demographics.html?searchResultPosition=1 

CITATION: Koeze, Ella. “A Year Later, Who Is Back to Work and Who Is Not?” The New York Times. The New York Times, March 9, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/09/business/economy/covid-employment-demographics.html?searchResultPosition=1.