Progress of the world’s women

Progress of the World’s Women 2019–2020: Families in a changing world

Stories of change | Fact sheets | Data insights | Social media | Previous editions

Families around the world look, feel, and live differently today. Families can be “make or break” for women and girls when it comes to achieving their rights. They can be places of love, care, and fulfillment but, too often, they are also spaces where women’s and girls’ rights are violated, their voices are stifled, and where gender inequality prevails. In today’s changing world, laws and policies need to be based on the reality of how families live.

UN Women’s flagship report, “Progress of the world’s women 2019–2020: Families in a changing world”, assesses the reality of families today in the context of sweeping economic, demographic, political, and social transformation. The report features global, regional, and national data. It also analyses key issues such as family laws, employment, unpaid care work, violence against women, and families and migration.

At a critical juncture for women’s rights, this landmark report proposes a comprehensive family-friendly policy agenda to advance gender equality in diverse families. A package of policies to deliver this agenda is affordable for most countries, according to a costing analysis included in the report. When families are places of equality and justice, economies and societies thrive and unlock the full potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report shows that achieving the SDGs depends on promoting gender equality within families.

Stories of change

Photo essay: Families are changing, policies need to change too. Cielo Gomez (center) and her family live in the municipality of El Tablón de Gómez, in the southeast of Nariño territory, Colombia. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown.

Fact sheets: Global and regional insights

Find out the most relevant issues and facts on families globally and regionally. View/download the fact sheets:

Data insights

This edition of “Progress of the world’s women” relies on a broad array of the latest available data and statistics, as of March 2019, gathered from national sources, and compiled and harmonized by international agencies.


Global data:

Social media

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About “Progress of the world’s women”

“Progress of the world’s women” is UN Women’s periodic investigation of progress made towards a world where women live free from violence, poverty, and inequality. Provocative and insightful, this series is the product of multi-year research, in-depth analyses, and data findings that build upon the expertise of leading organizations, experts, and academics.

Previous editions: