What do women want? Gender, perceptions data and development priorities

Research reports and studies
August 2014
This report looks at the people’s development priorities from a gendered perspective using the UN’s MY World survey and examines what is it that women prioritise in development.

It finds that although there is considerable variation across countries, there are few gender-based differences in the most important development priorities in MY World, particularly in poorer countries. However, the report recognises that perception data – though important – must be treated with caution as it can conceal different underlying motivations where gendered barriers prevent equal access to opportunities.

The report also explores how men and women perceive gender equality, comparing its prioritisation in MY World with other perceptions data. There is a recommendation for further study to understand women’s perceived gender inequality, emphasised by the paradox found whereby women in gender-unequal countries express relatively higher demand for gender equality in MY World despite other perceptions data suggesting that they are more accepting of entrenched gender inequalities.

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