Key Findings

The gap in Index scores for women in high-income income economies compared to women in low income countries nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021.

Key Findings
Key Finding

The gap in Index scores between women in high-income and low-income economies nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021.

In 2021, 22 points separated women in high-income economies – whose score remained unchanged at 61 – and women in low-income economies, whose score dropped from 49 to 39. 

Country income level chart
Key Finding 2
Key Finding

Women’s ability to meet their basic needs — such as affording food — fell, while men’s ability to do so did not change.

Women were slightly more likely than men to say there were times when they did not have enough money to afford needed food (37% of women vs. 33% of men). This gap was wider in 2021 than it was in 2020 — as women lost ground while men largely remained steady. 

Key Finding

Women in 2021 were more stressed, worried, angry and sad than they were in 2020 — or at any point in the past decade.

Stress, worry and anger each increased by three percentage points within the span of a year, while sadness notably rose by six points. More than four in 10 women in 2021 said they experienced worry (43%) and stress (41%) during a lot of the day before the survey, nearly one in three experienced sadness (32%), and more than one in four experienced anger (26%) — all at record levels. 

Key Finding 3
10 Percent
Key Finding

In nearly 50 countries and territories, less than 10% of women said they were tested for cancer in the previous year.

Worldwide, just 12% of women in 2021 were tested for any type of cancer in the past 12 months, which means more than 2 billion of the world’s women went untested.

Key Finding

Belief in the value of going to a healthcare professional declined among women with an elementary education or less.

While belief in the value of going to a healthcare professional remained relatively stable among women with four years of education beyond high school or a college degree (92%), it dropped seven points among those with an elementary education or less — from 87% to 80% — leading to a 12-point gap between the two education groups. 

Key Finding 5
Life Expectancy Chart
Key Finding

Annual visits to healthcare providers correspond with two additional years in a woman’s life expectancy.

Even after accounting for gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, life expectancy for women who said they had talked to a healthcare professional in the past year was 78, compared to 76 for women who said they had not.