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40 Ideas for Women Issues and Gender Research Paper Topics

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  • The history of gender
  • The difference between sex and gender
  • Women erased from history: who they were and what they did?
  • Gender imbalance in China and India: the causes of it
  • Stereotype gender roles: why did society need them and does it need them now?
  • Sexual revolution and the concept of gender
  • Can gender be changed during a person’s life?
  • Intergender relations
  • The development and goal of gender studies
  • How many genders exist in humanity?
  • The #MeeToo movement and its consequences
  • Gender discrimination laws all over the world
  • What is sexism and gender discrimination?
  • Does the backwards discrimination exist?
  • Expected gender traits: nature versus nurture
  • The physiological differences and gender
  • Gender transitioning
  • Gender and family issues
  • Gender and sexual harassment
  • Sex, gender and leadership
  • Gender and parenting
  • Gender roles in media and literature
  • Feminism movement
  • Do men need to fight for their rights as feminist women do?
  • Does sex still sell? Gender in advertising
  • Gender and pornography. Fem-porn: does it exist?
  • Gender and prostitution
  • Cognitive differences between genders
  • Typically male and typically female nonverbal communication
  • Women and “glass ceiling”
  • Maternity and paternity leaves. Are they equally important for the baby?
  • Abortions, pregnancy and gender
  • Internal misogyny and misandry: causes and ways to overcome
  • Childfree movement and gender
  • Sexual behaviour, marriage strategies and gender
  • The toys segregation and sexual education: shall it still be different for boys and girls?
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Beauty standards and gender
  • Gender and power: male and female bosses
  • Sexual orientation and gender

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33 Best Women’s and Gender Studies Paper Topics

Gender equity is among the trending issues around the globe. This has been characterized by women empowerment movements in various countries and rules geared towards protecting women in multiple societies.

To do this, institutions have focused on studies on gender, thus empowering women to reduce their vulnerability. The regular changes bring about diverse gender paper topics, making it hard to settle for a specific idea for your thesis paper.

This article will suggest some gender issues topics for the research paper to boost your brainstorming efforts.

Women’s Gender Studies Paper Topics

Gender research paper topics.

  • Factors that discourage parents from providing their daughters with a decent education in third world countries
  • Discrimination against women in the workplace and how to overcome the bias
  • A case study on the psychological implications of single parenting on women
  • Differences in raising of a girl and boy child and the limitations of their societal expectations
  • Evolution of movements against gender discrimination
  • The role of marital partners in the well being
  • Reasons as to why women are underrepresented in the upper tier of business management
  • Do family roles in couples hold back the career progress of the wife?
  • Why elections are biased towards male candidates: Steps to overcoming the bias
  • Analyzing gender-based violence in various countries across the globe

Research topics in gender studies

  • How to instill the culture of gender equity in children at a tender age
  • The role of women in the development of the world economy
  • Measures that you can take to protect women from gender violence in cities
  • Women wage-gap across the globe and steps to bridge the gap
  • Gender role stereotype: their relevance in early days and why their relevance in the modern society
  • Development of gender studies and the impact of gender studies in women empowerment
  • Maternity and paternity leave: Are both necessary? Are parenting roles defined for each gender?
  • Is education a viable option for eliminating societal gender bias?
  • Factors that contribute to gender inequality within developing countries
  • Are women inferior to their male counterparts? Factors behind the stereotype and approaches to do away with this stereotype

Feminist research paper topics

  • The role of environment in the mental growth and role assumption among women
  • Masculinity vs. femininity: Does the societal view of each gender contribute to the overall gender bias?
  • Role of mainstream media in eradicating gender bias in society
  • Famous feminist literary works and their impact on the societal view of gender
  • How to eliminate sexual exploitation among women in developed and developing countries
  • Historical roots of male chauvinism and the effect on the feminist movement in Africa
  • Role of African Women in society and steps to ensuring gender equality
  • A case study on how social media is shaping the view of feminism
  • Why feminism is viewed as men hatred in some societies
  • The impact of little female representation on women political participation

Women’s studies research paper topics

  • Reasons why women were barred from serving in the US military until 2013. Factors that led to the change.
  • How women’s health and rights have been associated throughout history
  • What factors made it easy for Japan to adopt equality laws compared to its European counterparts

How to choose a gender paper topic

When studying gender, the selection of a good topic is essential to have an easy writing process. When brainstorming a subject for your gender papers, you may follow the following tips:

  • Formulate questions – after reading the thesis statement, formulate a question regarding the main idea encapsulated in the statement.
  • Compile a keyword list – when formulating your topic, you may consider writing the keywords on the trending issues within the subject. Next, interconnect these keywords and determine how a single case can tackle your ideas.
  • Check available information – before settling on a topic, check for the availability of materials to back your arguments. However, steer free of issues that have been over addressed as they may limit new ideas without plagiarizing existing work.

research topics on women's issues

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Feminism Dissertation Topics – Choose The Best Topic For Your Dissertation

Published by Owen Ingram at January 2nd, 2023 , Revised On August 15, 2023

Feminist dissertation topics focus on the people who believe that women should have equal chances and rights as men. Feminism is a historical, social, and political movement founded by women to achieve gender equality and remove injustice. Feminism is an important topic that has been frequently debated in a male-dominated society since the nineteenth century. However, in recent years, the feminist voice has become louder, and feminist issues have grown in popularity.

An excellent feminist research topic is all you need to write a feminist dissertation. Feminism, in general, is a broad subject that examines the challenges women confront, such as sexual harassment, oppression, repression, stereotyping, sexual objectification, and other types of political and social oppression.

As the subject is vast, selecting a feminist topic for a dissertation or research paper is a difficult challenge. So, to assist you, we have compiled a list of relevant feminist research paper topics for your perusal.

You can also visit these links to get the best dissertation ideas for extensive research about   sexual harassment dissertation topics and human rights dissertation ideas .

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Topics on Feminist Issues

  • Examine how the internet has transformed Feminism into a public source of mockery and praise.
  • Investigate the theoretical conflict between gender and sex.
  • Investigate the history of the #MeToo movement and the feminism victim challenge.
  • Examine the views of several feminists who are still devout Muslims on Female Genital Mutilation.
  • To make the feminist message, emphasize the feminist technique and means.
  • According to five works of literature or important feminists/anti-feminists of your choosing, how does Feminism establish, dismantle, and reconstruct gender roles?
  • Examine how feminists deal with societal injustice and violence.
  • Investigate the employability of feminist women in the United States.
  • What is the feminist critic’s stance on worldwide gender inequality?
  • How modern beauty standards continue to limit what and who is considered beautiful online and offline.
  • How the concept of beauty is also a radical social and political prejudice that denies women some basic rights.
  • Examine gender disparity and equality in American politics.
  • Investigate gender imbalance and equality in the UK government.
  • Consider if religion, Feminism, and liberal morality can be reconciled.
  • Examine the difficulties women confront in the face of violence in nations such as India and Pakistan.
  • Examine feminist psychology about Middle Eastern women.
  • Analyze the changing feminist thought in the academic and in the actual world.
  • How governments use Feminism as a tool for social mobilization, resulting in the demise of their culture.
  • Modern beauty standards continue to limit what and who is considered beautiful online and offline.
  • The concept of beauty is also a radical social and political prejudice that denies women some basic rights.

Feminist Project Topics

  • The contrast between the gender roles of women and the Feminist role in society
  • Examining the benefits and drawbacks of identifying as a feminist
  • Compare the benefits of being a feminist in rich and developing countries.
  • Examine the future of Feminism in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Examine the motivating elements of Feminism throughout history
  • Highlight and explain how Feminism has contributed to increased rape education.
  • Feminism and government assistance: How government assistance may put an end to all vices against women
  • The careful examination of equity and equality in Feminism
  • The modern world’s perspective on Feminism has shifted: debate
  • Investigate the lives, times, and biographies of any male feminist.
  • Justify the role of Middle Eastern women in the struggle for gender equality.
  • Examine any European government’s activities in promoting feminist principles.
  • Examine any Southern American government’s role in preserving women’s rights.
  • Investigate the relationship between Feminism and lesbianism.
  • Examine the link between Feminism and the increase of single women in America. Determine the relevance of the emergence of liberal ideals over conservative beliefs in promoting Feminism.
  • Discuss how women in the United States military are still subjected to discrimination, sexual assault, and brutality.
  • Discuss the methods for eliminating sexual assault and discrimination in the military of two nations of your choice.
  • Analyze the role of women in your preferred UK election.
  • Investigate the issue of gender equality in modern Britain.
  • Provide an outline of the British monarchy and the restoration of female kings.
  • Rebuild the Women’s Trade Union League’s fundamental ideals and principles.

Feminist Research Topics

  • Give some instances of modern feminist manifestos and what they have contained in feminist thought.
  • What is Feminism’s detrimental impact on teens, and how has it created hatred towards men?
  • What is the public’s take on women’s influence over celebrities in the face of the law in the aftermath of R Kelly’s imprisonment?
  • Speak with a self-identified feminist and discuss their views on Feminism.
  • Discuss the contentious topics surrounding Feminism and provide solutions to unsolved problems.
  • Examine Mona Eataly’s writings and compare her feminist beliefs to those of other black feminists.
  • Investigate what bold Feminism entails.
  • Should unisex restrooms be permitted in pubs, restaurants, and hotels in a world fraught with sexual violence?
  • Examine the prejudices experienced by transgender women and how the feminist movement might be a sort of stereotyped freedom.
  • Investigate the wide varieties of Feminism and how hairstyles can also be used to make political statements.

Feminist Topic Ideas for Discussion

  • Is Feminism only a historical residue of a modern need?
  • Is it possible for a female president to arise in America or the United Kingdom because Taiwan’s president is female?
  • What are your opinions on female authorities serving in various roles worldwide?
  • What do you think about the absence of female political representation?
  • How does a lack of political representation for women influence women’s political participation?
  • Could religion be claimed to be a contributing element to women’s current plight?
  • The internet has been a driving factor in the pursuit of equality.
  • The feminist movement is just a platform for women to gain more power.
  • How have environmental and feminist issues influenced national policies?
  • Have other movements swallowed Feminism?

Women Empowerment Topics

  • What role does the shift from cash to digital payrolls have in empowering women in poor countries?
  • Why is there such a disparity between corporate attempts to execute women’s empowerment?
  • Initiatives and corporate commitments to furthering equality?
  • Talk about what everyone can do to help women in their neighbourhood.
  • Why is workplace health such an important issue for women’s empowerment?
  • Examine the numerous advantages of women’s empowerment.
  • How has the UAE’s feminist movement empowered Arab women?
  • Women’s political representation, politics, and decision-making.
  • Discuss the role of feminists in promoting women’s empowerment.
  • Women’s empowerment in Asian countries has increased during the previous two decades.

Informative Feminism Dissertation Topics

  • Is it feasible to distinguish the three major waves of Feminism while defining a cohesive philosophy?
  • Why is the premise that ‘if you believe men and women are equal, you’re a feminist’ insufficient in the Feminist movement’s third wave?
  • Can Feminism forge a coherent movement amid the shattered environment of 21st-century Feminist thought?
  • An assessment of the third wave’s inadequacy as the final progression of Feminist thinking, as well as how the next wave will be characterized.
  • What are the difficulties that Intersectional Feminism has in disentangling oppressive systems from one another, and how can the movement negotiate this complication?
  • A feminist assessment of the relationship between police violence and patriarchal society.
  • Where is the boundary between defending an oppressed ecology and imposing oppressive ideals?
  • Investigating the relationship between authoritarian right anti-environmental and anti-feminist political thought.
  • Priority or Privilege? A critical examination of the Ecofeminist movement’s inability to address class problems and the consequences for its efficacy.
  • How does Feminist thought in emerging environments vary from Western Feminist philosophy?
  • A critical examination of how Western Feminism fails to meet the issues of global women.
  • Is it feasible for Western philosophy to accurately reflect women living in the aftermath of colonial domination in a postcolonial society?
  • Is promoting gender equality in emerging countries a moral obligation or an imperialist endeavour?
  • Investigate the gender difference in the pursuit of independence for any country.
  • A critical examination of the role of identity politics in social justice movements in the twenty-first century.

It is possible to contribute to an ever-growing and complicated field of study by writing a dissertation or capstone on feminist philosophy and critique. In view of the complexity of the underlying issue of ‘Feminism’, there are a number of feminist dissertation topics to consider. There has never been a more important time to research culturally relevant topics for your dissertation than in 2022.

Please contact us immediately if you need assistance writing your feminist dissertation. Our writers have years of experience researching, writing, proofreading, and editing dissertations on the greatest feminist research topics. Upon receiving your specifications, we will provide you with a high-quality, plagiarism-free research paper on time and within your budget.

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How to find feminism dissertation topics.

To find feminism dissertation topics:

  • Study feminist literature and theories.
  • Analyze gender-related gaps or issues.
  • Explore intersectionality with race, class, etc.
  • Investigate historical and contemporary perspectives.
  • Consider media, politics, arts for feminist angles.
  • Choose a topic resonating with your passion and research goals.

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100 Gender Research Topics For Academic Papers

gender research topics

Gender research topics are very popular across the world. Students in different academic disciplines are often asked to write papers and essays about these topics. Some of the disciplines that require learners to write about gender topics include:

Sociology Psychology Gender studies Business studies

When pursuing higher education in these disciplines, learners can choose what to write about from a wide range of gender issues topics. However, the wide range of issues that learners can research and write about when it comes to gender makes choosing what to write about difficult. Here is a list of the top 100 gender and sexuality topics that students can consider.

Controversial Gender Research Topics

Do you like the idea of writing about something controversial? If yes, this category has some of the best gender topics to write about. They touch on issues like gender stereotypes and issues that are generally associated with members of a specific gender. Here are some of the best controversial gender topics that you can write about.

  • How human behavior is affected by gender misconceptions
  • How are straight marriages influenced by gay marriages
  • Explain the most common sex-role stereotypes
  • What are the effects of workplace stereotypes?
  • What issues affect modern feminism?
  • How sexuality affects sex-role stereotyping
  • How does the media break sex-role stereotypes
  • Explain the dual approach to equality between women and men
  • What are the most outdated sex-role stereotypes
  • Are men better than women?
  • How equal are men and women?
  • How do politics and sexuality relate?
  • How can films defy gender-based stereotypes
  • What are the advantages of being a woman?
  • What are the disadvantages of being a woman?
  • What are the advantages of being a man?
  • Discuss the disadvantages of being a woman
  • Should governments legalize prostitution?
  • Explain how sexual orientation came about?
  • Women communicate better than men
  • Women are the stronger sex
  • Explain how the world can be made better for women
  • Discuss the future gender norms
  • How important are sex roles in society
  • Discuss the transgender and feminism theory
  • How does feminism help in the creation of alternative women’s culture?
  • Gender stereotypes in education and science
  • Discuss racial variations when it comes to gender-related attitudes
  • Women are better leaders
  • Men can’t survive without women

This category also has some of the best gender debate topics. However, learners should be keen to pick topics they are interested in. This will enable them to ensure that they enjoy the research and writing process.

Interesting Gender Inequality Topics

Gender-based inequality is witnessed almost every day. As such, most learners are conversant with gender inequality research paper topics. However, it’s crucial to pick topics that are devoid of discrimination of members of a specific gender. Here are examples of gender inequality essay topics.

  • Sex discrimination aspects in schools
  • How to identify inequality between sexes
  • Sex discrimination causes
  • The inferior role played by women in relationships
  • Discuss sex differences in the education system
  • How can gender discrimination be identified in sports?
  • Can inequality issues between men and women be solved through education?
  • Why are professional opportunities for women in sports limited?
  • Why are there fewer women in leadership positions?
  • Discuss gender inequality when it comes to work-family balance
  • How does gender-based discrimination affect early childhood development?
  • Can sex discrimination be reduced by technology?
  • How can sex discrimination be identified in a marriage?
  • Explain where sex discrimination originates from
  • Discuss segregation and motherhood in labor markets
  • Explain classroom sex discrimination
  • How can inequality in American history be justified?
  • Discuss different types of sex discrimination in modern society
  • Discuss various factors that cause gender-based inequality
  • Discuss inequality in human resource practices and processes
  • Why is inequality between women and men so rampant in developing countries?
  • How can governments bridge gender gaps between women and men?
  • Work-home conflict is a sign of inequality between women and men
  • Explain why women are less wealthy than men
  • How can workplace gender-based inequality be addressed?

After choosing the gender inequality essay topics they like, students should research, brainstorm ideas, and come up with an outline before they start writing. This will ensure that their essays have engaging introductions and convincing bodies, as well as, strong conclusions.

Amazing Gender Roles Topics for Academic Papers and Essays

This category has ideas that slightly differ from gender equality topics. That’s because equality or lack of it can be measured by considering the representation of both genders in different roles. As such, some gender roles essay topics might not require tiresome and extensive research to write about. Nevertheless, learners should take time to gather the necessary information required to write about these topics. Here are some of the best gender topics for discussion when it comes to the roles played by men and women in society.

  • Describe gender identity
  • Describe how a women-dominated society would be
  • Compare gender development theories
  • How equally important are maternity and paternity levees for babies?
  • How can gender-parity be achieved when it comes to parenting?
  • Discuss the issues faced by modern feminism
  • How do men differ from women emotionally?
  • Discuss gender identity and sexual orientation
  • Is investing in the education of girls beneficial?
  • Explain the adoption of gender-role stereotyped behaviors
  • Discuss games and toys for boys and girls
  • Describe patriarchal attitudes in families
  • Explain patriarchal stereotypes in family relationships
  • What roles do women and men play in politics?
  • Discuss sex equity and academic careers
  • Compare military career opportunities for both genders
  • Discuss the perception of women in the military
  • Describe feminine traits
  • Discus gender-related issues faced by women in gaming
  • Men should play major roles in the welfare of their children
  • Explain how the aging population affects the economic welfare of women?
  • What has historically determined modern differences in gender roles?
  • Does society need stereotyped gender roles?
  • Does nature have a role to play in stereotyped gender roles?
  • The development and adoption of gender roles

The list of gender essay topics that are based on the roles of each sex can be quite extensive. Nevertheless, students should be keen to pick interesting gender topics in this category.

Important Gender Issues Topics for Research Paper

If you want to write a paper or essay on an important gender issue, this category has the best ideas for you. Students can write about different issues that affect individuals of different genders. For instance, this category can include gender wage gap essay topics. Wage variation is a common issue that affects women in different countries. Some of the best gender research paper topics in this category include:

  • Discuss gender mainstreaming purpose
  • Discuss the issue of gender-based violence
  • Why is the wage gap so common in most countries?
  • How can society promote equality in opportunities for women and men in sports?
  • Explain what it means to be transgender
  • Discuss the best practices of gender-neutral management
  • What is women’s empowerment?
  • Discuss how human trafficking affects women
  • How problematic is gender-blindness for women?
  • What does the glass ceiling mean in management?
  • Why are women at a higher risk of sexual exploitation and violence?
  • Why is STEM uptake low among women?
  • How does ideology affect the determination of relations between genders
  • How are sporting women fighting for equality?
  • Discuss sports, women, and media institutions
  • How can cities be made safer for girls and women?
  • Discuss international trends in the empowerment of women
  • How do women contribute to the world economy?
  • Explain how feminism on different social relations unites men and women as groups
  • Explain how gender diversity influence scientific discovery and innovation

This category has some of the most interesting women’s and gender studies paper topics. However, most of them require extensive research to come up with hard facts and figures that will make academic papers or essays more interesting.

Students in high schools and colleges can pick what to write about from a wide range of gender studies research topics. However, some gender studies topics might not be ideal for some learners based on the given essay prompt. Therefore, make sure that you have understood what the educator wants you to write about before you pick a topic. Our experts can help you choose a good thesis topic . Choosing the right gender studies topics enables learners to answer the asked questions properly. This impresses educators to award them top grades.

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Research on Women's Health: Ready for the Future

Regine douthard.

1 Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Lori A. Whitten

2 Synergy Enterprises, Inc., North Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Janine Austin Clayton

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) was established in 1990. With the completion of the office's 30th anniversary year, we look back and recount some of the key events and overall zeitgeist that led to ORWH's formation, and how it became the focal point at the nation's primary biomedical research agency for coordinating research on science to improve the health of women. We discuss ORWH's mission and signature programs and the bold vision that drives the NIH-wide strategic, interdisciplinary, and collaborative approach to research on women's health and efforts to promote women in biomedical careers. Also discussed are several of the many scientific advances in research on the health of women, policy innovations and their effects, and career advancements made by women in medicine and related scientific fields. We also highlight key challenges for the health of women, the need to continue pushing for equity in biomedical research careers, and NIH's approach to addressing these problems to ensure progress for the next 30 years and beyond.


In the 1970 s and 1980s, many became aware that women were not benefiting equally from the major advances in biomedical research and health care. One of the driving factors for this inequity was an astonishing lack of knowledge on conditions that are unique to or more prevalent among them. Society was changing rapidly, with the public demanding solutions to multiple inequities, chronic diseases, and emerging health problems. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) responded accordingly and grew in size, scope, and ambition. 1 Knowledge was also expanding, and as we learned more about human biology, fundamental sex differences in physiology not related to reproductive systems emerged. For example, research revealed that myocardial and vascular structure and function—and some important clinical outcomes ( e.g., the mortality rate after myocardial infarction)—differed between women and men. 2 In addition, studies documented more adverse drug reactions among women. 3 , 4

Despite the fact that women and men shared the top three causes of death (heart disease, cancer, and stroke), most knowledge on their etiology, progression, and treatment had been derived from all-male studies. 2 A vanguard of leaders at the U.S. Public Health Service established the Task Force on Women's Health Issues, and this group's report and recommendations charted a course for future research to remedy the inequity and improve the health of women. 5

Principal recommendations were the expansion of biomedical and biobehavioral research on conditions particularly affecting women of all ages and the development of guidelines to ensure adequate numbers of women in clinical trials of medications. 5 The Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues campaigned for implementing these recommendations, and one result of these efforts was the establishment of the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) in 1990. For more information on the history of the office's formation, see https://orwh.od.nih.gov/about/mission-history .

The landmark Report of the National Institutes of Health: Opportunities for Research on Women's Health (commonly referred to as the Hunt Valley report) in 1991 set out an agenda to address gaps in scientific knowledge about the health of women of all ages and to increase the use of research designs that would potentially identify sex and gender differences in outcomes. 2 Standing on the foundation that report helped build, we are now able to envision a world in which the biomedical research enterprise thoroughly integrates sex and gender influences across the life course, every woman receives evidence-based disease prevention and treatment tailored to her own needs and circumstances, and women in scientific careers reach their full potential.

That vision—set out in Advancing Science for the Health of Women: The Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health Research 6 —is possible because there has been a congressionally mandated focal point for coordinating research on the health of women at NIH since ORWH was enshrined by statute in this role in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Public Law 103–43, section 486). 7

ORWH's core areas of focus dovetail with NIH's mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and apply that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. The 27 constituent NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) address women's health in their respective scientific areas. Part of the NIH Office of the Director, ORWH plays a vital coordinating role, collaborating with ICs to ensure that interdisciplinary research on women's health is part of the scientific framework at NIH and throughout the biomedical community—as reflected in the Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health Research . Throughout its three decades, ORWH has acted on its mission and worked with its IC partners to build signature programs that advance research on sex and gender, and support women as biomedical scientists ( Table 1 ).

National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health Mission and Signature Programs

ORWH, Office of Research on Women's Health; NIH, National Institutes of Health.

ORWH's milestone 30th anniversary year caused us to reflect and focus on the future. This article will briefly review (1) a few of the many scientific advances in research on the health of women—some of which were highlighted at the ORWH 30th Anniversary Scientific Symposium (videocast available at https://videocast.nih.gov/watch=40060 ), (2) policy innovations and their effects, (3) the research career advancements made by women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), and (4) prominent key challenges for the health of women and NIH's approaches to addressing them.

Thirty Years of Scientific Advances Result in Better Health for Women

Perhaps the most important advancement has been the paradigm shift in the way biomedical researchers conceptualize women's health, from a narrow focus on the reproductive system and maternity (women were viewed to be the same as men except for these functions) to a perspective that encompasses the health of the whole woman over the life course. ORWH has emphasized the life course perspective since its inception 2 and continues on this path in the Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health Research .

ORWH champions the intentional integration of the multidimensional framework ( Fig. 1 ) in interdisciplinary multifactorial studies across the continuum of biomedical research to build a knowledge base for personalized medicine. 8–11 Achieving personalized medicine will be bolstered by the inclusion of sex and gender awareness in clinical care and the provision of evidence-based care tailored to every woman's needs, which requires embedding the concepts of sex and gender health into the educational curricula of all health professionals. 12

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The multidimensional framework represents the intersection of multiple internal factors ( e.g., sex influences at genetic, molecular, cellular, and physiological levels) and external factors ( e.g., social determinants of health [including gender], behavior, and policies) that affect the health of women across the life course.

It is perhaps not surprising that major scientific advances stem from interdisciplinary research that applies the multidimensional framework. Such is the case with the second scientific accomplishment highlighted in this study: knowledge about the impact of environmental exposures on women of all ages. Exposures are conceptualized broadly and can include lifestyle factors (such as stress, local access to healthful food, substance use, and physical activity), as well as chemicals, radiation, infectious agents, and climate change. 13 Researchers now understand that across the life course, environmental exposures during windows of susceptibility contribute to the developmental origins of disease. 14 , 15

As early as the 1980s, scientists reported changes in human reproduction—such as declining sperm counts in males 16 and earlier puberty in females 17 —as well as deleterious genital and physical alterations among wildlife. 18–20 Since then, research has linked these changes to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs)—compounds that interfere with sex hormones' production and mechanisms of action. 21–24 EDCs warrant close attention because exposures to them are universal ( e.g., they are present in pesticides, plastics, and fuels). 21 In addition, scientists have established that environmental exposures can have transgenerational effects. 25

EDCs act at receptors, alter hormone synthesis, induce epigenetic changes, and disrupt hormone breakdown or clearance to have detrimental effects on health. Crucially, their effects depend on whether the exposure was before or after puberty. 26 It is important for researchers to pay special attention to the impacts of exposures to personal care, consumer, and occupation-related products—such as cosmetics, scented shampoos, hair sprays, lotions, and household deodorizers—which are affected by gender. For example, as alluded to earlier, the EDC compounds ( e.g., phthalates, parabens, and phenols) contained in these items have been linked with earlier pubertal timing—to a greater extent in girls than in boys, perhaps because of girls' greater use of these items. 27

Our colleagues at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) lead efforts to understand the complex effects of potential exposures, the influence of timing and sensitive periods across the life course, and a multitude of individual and contextual factors. NIEHS supports an approach that incorporates the exposome—the totality of environmental exposures experienced over the life course, the individual biological responses to them, and how those exposures affect health. 14 For more information on NIEHS's efforts to ensure that researchers explicitly incorporate sex and social determinants of health into investigations of individual susceptibility and to advance our understanding of exposure burdens and health disparities, see www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/exposure/hhear/index.cfm 28 Importantly, NIEHS and colleagues have outlined the intersectionality of climate change, gender, geography, and socioeconomic status and proposed policy directions to address their negative effects on women's health. 29

Great progress in our understanding, detection, and treatment of postpartum depression (PPD) is the third scientific advancement in research on the health of women featured in this study. When ORWH was founded in 1990, PPD was not yet officially recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (That would occur in 1994, with the publication of DSM-4.) 30 Many researchers, clinicians, and members of the public now understand that many women do experience the “baby blues,” a temporary bout of worry, sadness, and fatigue after delivery that resolves without intervention. 31

In contrast, PPD—experienced by about 13% of women with a recent live birth in the United States in 2018 32 —is an intense persistent sadness that can interfere with a woman's ability to care for herself and the baby, 33 last for up to 3 years in some women, 34 and elevate depressive symptoms up to 11 years after childbirth. 35 Worryingly, the rate of women with a depression diagnosis at delivery increased sevenfold between 2000 and 2015. 36 Moreover, PPD is most likely underdiagnosed (because women may be reluctant to report symptoms), which highlights the need to integrate mood disorder screening and treatment services into standard prenatal and postnatal care. 37 The National Child and Maternal Health Education Program, sponsored by our colleagues at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, aims to increase awareness of mental health around the time of pregnancy through science-based information and resources.

Brexanolone, the first medication specifically for persistent postpartum mood disruption, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019. 38 Incorporating the multidimensional framework into research on women's mental health across the life course illuminated the risk factors for PPD—most notably, stress and adverse life events and subsequent neuroendocrine alterations and hormonal fluctuations—and then generated valuable knowledge about their underlying mechanisms. 39 Researchers identified sensitivity to the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone (rather than absolute levels), which modulate the neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and dysfunction of GABA A receptors as contributing factors to PPD. 40 , 41

As a synthetic analog of allopregnanolone, brexanolone is thought to boost the ability of GABA A receptors to adapt, thereby improving symptoms. 41 , 42 Brexanolone is currently available as an injection for intravenous use in medical settings, offering effective and immediate relief from what can be a debilitating and potentially life-threatening mood disorder. 42 , 43 An oral version of brexanolone, zuranolone (SAGE-217), is in Phase III trials. 44 If shown to be safe and effective, this more accessible formulation might help many more women who experience PPD.

The fourth scientific advancement reflects a central tenet of NIH Innovative policies that change the way scientists conduct their investigations are crucial and potentially even more transformative than specific experimental findings. In 1986, NIH responded to the recommendation of the Public Health Service Task Force on Women's Health Issues to ensure adequate numbers of women in clinical trials by establishing a policy encouraging researchers to include women in studies. Subsequently, Congress passed the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Public Law 103–43), which requires NIH to ensure that women and minorities are included in all clinical research (unless there is a compelling scientific reason for exclusion) and that trials are designed and conducted in a way that permits an analysis of outcomes by sex/gender, race, and ethnicity. 7

The full history of NIH's efforts to ensure that women and underrepresented minorities are included in the clinical research it supports are detailed on the ORWH website. ( https://orwh.od.nih.gov/toolkit/recruitment/history and https://orwh.od.nih.gov/womens-health-research/clinical-research-trials/nih-inclusion-policies/including-women-and ) Although movement in this area has not always been straightforward, the following examples show that progress has been made and that NIH's policy on inclusion continues to adapt to public health needs.

In 2018, more than half (52.4%) of participants in NIH-supported clinical research were women. 45 However, we recognize that the need to expand inclusion in NIH-sponsored clinical trials continues. For example, women's inclusion in clinical trials lags behind that of men in some important areas, 46 such as clinical trials on cardiovascular conditions. 47 In alignment with the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114–255), the inclusion of pregnant women and lactating women in clinical trials is currently a focus at NIH, led by our colleagues at NICHD and the Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC). (See www.nichd.nih.gov/about/advisory/PRGLAC ) NIH's view is that our clinical enterprise should change to protect pregnant people and lactating people through research, not from research. 48

By the 2000s, NIH had seen steady progress in implementation of its inclusion policy, but the consideration of both female and male animals and cells in preclinical research had generally not advanced at the same pace. 49 As part of broader efforts to improve scientific rigor, transparency, and reproducibility, 50 , 51 NIH set out to address the lack of attention to sex as a biological variable (SABV) 7 years ago by announcing its intention to require applicants to report plans for including male and female cells and animals in preclinical investigations. 52

ORWH then led an extensive process of internal and external consultation 53 and an in-depth exploration of methods, experimental designs, and approaches for statistical analysis that consider the incorporation of male and female animals, cells, and tissues in preclinical research. 54 The SABV policy (NOT-OD-15-102) went into effect January 25, 2016, and since then, NIH has expected that “sex as a biological variable will be factored into research designs, analyses, and reporting in vertebrate animal and human studies.” 55 NIH subsequently provided additional guidance for researchers and grant reviewers to facilitate implementation of the SABV policy. 56 , 57

There has been progress in SABV implementation, as the omission of sex has decreased and investigators are increasingly using both females and males in preclinical research. 58 , 59 More NIH grant applicants are appropriately addressing sex in their proposals, and grant reviewers report increased acceptance of the SABV policy. 60 However, basic research and preclinical research continue to over-rely on male cells and animals, 58 , 61 and there has been minimal progress in the disaggregation, analysis, and reporting of data by sex. 62 A detailed summary of NIH's multipronged efforts to increase SABV implementation was published last year. 63 Among the most important efforts to advance SABV implementation is the development of online educational modules (discussed in “The Next 30 Years: Facing Challenges to Improve Health for Everyone” hereunder).

The fifth advancement during the past three decades is the increase in the proportion of women working in laboratories, medical schools, and academic research centers across the nation. Building the participation of women in medical and biomedical research careers has been a core mission area for ORWH since its inception and is part of larger efforts by the NIH Scientific Workforce Diversity Office. NIH is committed to diversity because we need the brightest minds to contribute to the biomedical research enterprise, regardless of background. Workforce diversity is also a best practice backed by research—as heterogenous interdisciplinary teams make better decisions and outperform homogenous ones, particularly when addressing complex problems. 64 , 65

When ORWH was established in 1990, about one-third of medical school graduates and faculty members were women. 66 Now about half (48%) of medical school graduates and about three-fifths (58%) of graduate students enrolled in biomedical doctoral programs are women. The overall proportion of full-time medical school faculty members who are women is now at 41%. 67 Data from NIH also show some progress for women at various stages of their careers ( Fig. 2 ). 68–70 This progress reflects concerted efforts by NIH to improve biomedical workforce diversity, 71 including those focused on promoting the careers of women. 72

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(A) The representation of women in positions as NIH postdoctoral fellows and postdoctoral trainees increased between 1990 and 2020. (B) The percentage of women earning NIH research grants and R01-equivalent grants increased between 1998 and 2020. Data sources: National Institutes of Health. 68–70 NIH, National Institutes of Health.

The most seminal moment in all of ORWH'S decades-long work in this crucial area was the 2008 release of the request for applications (RFA) titled “Research on Causal Factors and Interventions that Promote and Support the Careers of Women in Biomedical and Behavioral Science and Engineering” (RFA-GM-09-012). 73 NIH's unprecedented investment of $16 million resulted in an explosion of evidence contributing to our understanding of how individuals make career choices, how workplaces may inadvertently impede advancement, the existing barriers, and effective interventions. The research resulted in >100 publications, but the most profound contribution was the identification of best practices in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in academic medicine—with the ultimate effect of accelerating change and progress. 74 NIH is taking an innovative approach to improving women's representation in leadership, described in the next section.

The Next 30 Years: Facing Challenges to Improve Health for Everyone

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to cause widespread illness and deaths (254,215,816 cases and 5,112,710 deaths worldwide and 47,272,975 cases and 765,127 deaths in the United States as of November 16, 2021, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard). The FDA approval of one vaccine and authorization of two other vaccines for emergency use have brought some hope, and 58.9% of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated as of November 16, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 75 Although COVID-19-related mortality seems to be lower for women, they have greater risk of exposure because of their overrepresentation among the frontline health care workforce and essential workers. 76 , 77

Much more research is needed to understand the effects of COVID-19 on all women. Specifically, rigorous research ( i.e., studies that are fully aligned with the NIH inclusion and SABV policies) is needed for all COVID-19-related areas ( e.g., immune responses, sex differences in risk profiles, mental health effects, vaccine efficacy, and novel therapeutics). Released in July 2020, the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research outlines five strategic priorities for COVID-19 research and NIH's commitment to addressing the needs of health disparity populations and other vulnerable people—including research on COVID-19-related maternal health and pregnancy outcomes. 78

To complement the NIH-wide strategic plan and guide its COVID-19 response, ORWH developed Guiding Principles: Sex and gender influences in COVID-19 and the health of women . The principles promote rigorous research, advance health equity, and enhance the nation's response to the pandemic by laying out a systematic approach to incorporating sex and gender into research to inform and improve the health of women. 79 The document also addresses the disproportionate negative effects of the pandemic on the careers of women scientists, a topic that is discussed as follows. As in all research that includes both sexes, it is crucial to disaggregate data from COVID-19 studies by sex so they can be analyzed for potential differences. 80 A recent study found that although men have a higher COVID-19 mortality rate overall, black women had died at a higher rate than white men in Michigan and Georgia—illustrating the importance of disaggregating and analyzing data for sex, gender, and race interactions in COVID-19 outcomes. 81

Since the beginning of the pandemic, NIH has realized that reassignment to fight COVID-19 and restrictions on physical workspaces would have significant negative effects on the biomedical workforce. Sensitive to the notion that this situation would most likely have a greater effect on early-stage investigators (ESIs) and on scientists who are in populations that are underrepresented in medicine (URiM) 82 , 83 —including women scientists, who are disproportionately affected by additional caregiving and family responsibilities 84 —NIH objectively documented COVID-19's impact on the workforce through an online survey of extramural researchers in October 2020. 85 Some of those findings are shown in Figure 3 . NIH provides numerous flexibility options, offers an opportunity for scientists to apply for an extension of their ESI status because of COVID-19-related delays, and supports efforts to retain early-career biomedical investigators during critical life events (NOT-OD-20-054 and NOT-OD-20-055).

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Reported effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among the NIH extramural scientific workforce: (A) lower productivity, (B) negative effect on career trajectory, and (C) more women than men with children under age 5 years saying caregiving made work completion more difficult. Data source: Bernard and Lauer. 85

The second major challenge to the health of women is the abysmal rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States—the highest among wealthy nations 86 —and the marked racial disparities in these outcomes. In 2019, deaths from complications while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy numbered 754. 87 About 60% of maternal deaths are considered to be preventable. 88 Black women and American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women have rates of maternal mortality that are about two to three times higher than those of white and Hispanic women. 89 Importantly, higher levels of education and income do not mitigate the risk for maternal deaths among black women. 89 , 90 A recent scoping review found that black mothers were particularly vulnerable to environmental exposures ( e.g., air pollution, ozone, and heat) that are exacerbated by climate change and their negative effects on pregnancy outcomes. 91

In addition, too many U.S. women—>50,000 annually and disproportionately black women—experience severe maternal morbidity ( e.g., requiring a transfusion, infection, or high blood pressure). 92 , 93 NIH has mounted a robust response to address the crisis—increasing research funding in this area from $334 million in fiscal year (FY) 2019 to $345 million in FY 2020—and makes information on these projects available to the public through the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) website. 94 See Table 2 for selected NIH initiatives to address the maternal morbidity and mortality crisis in the United States.

Selected National Institutes of Health Initiatives to Address High Rates of Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in the United States

IC, Institutes and Centers.

The third challenge covered in this study is the furtherance of some aspects of NIH's SABV policy—particularly the analysis and reporting of sex-specific results in scientific articles, which has lagged despite guidance in the literature. 54 , 80 , 95–98 A study that examined SABV implementation across nine biomedical disciplines found that in eight of the disciplines, there was no change in the proportion of studies that included data analyzed by sex. 59 Analysis and reporting by sex—whether significant differences are found or not—is crucial for seeing patterns of results, accurately interpreting data, and guiding the next steps in the research. 95

A lack of analysis and reporting by sex is a lack of transparency that perpetuates an incomplete and possibly inaccurate knowledge base, as aggregated data may mask important sex differences—such as variance in treatment response, toxicity, symptoms, and adverse effects. In addition, analysis and reporting of results by sex facilitates meta-analysis, helps avoid duplication, guides sample size calculations for future studies, 95 improves the design of clinical trials, informs sex- and gender-aware diagnosis and treatment, facilitates personalized medicine, and advances a system-based understanding of sex and gender influences on health and disease. 80 , 96

ORWH and its partners have developed several educational modules on the influences of sex and gender on health—with SABV as a linchpin concept—for researchers and practitioners. Through its e-learning program (found at bit.ly/ORWHeLearning ), ORWH offers free online tools to help researchers apply a sex-and-gender lens (including analyzing and reporting data by sex) to their work ( Table 3 ). These courses would greatly benefit researchers who serve on NIH study sections, scientific peer reviewers, and journal editors. 60 , 98 Because of the myriad influences of sex on health and the impact of gender on how individuals are treated in the health care system, we believe that SABV and information on sex and gender should be included as part of the standard training of physicians, nurses, and other practitioners to advance precision medicine. 99 , 100

Recently Expanded Free Online Learning Modules That Cover Sex as a Biological Variable

The final challenge highlighted in this study is the need to increase the number of women in leadership roles in STEMM fields in academia, particularly women who are in URiM racial and ethnic groups. Inclusive and diverse leadership in academic medicine—the central driver of medical education, biomedical research, scientific training, and clinical care—is a crucial component of spurring innovation, attracting top scientists, and maximizing return on taxpayer investment. 101 Data indicate that the academic medicine workforce pipeline is not the problem. 67 However, women still only represent 18% of department chairs and 18% of deans. 67 A 17-year longitudinal cohort study indicates that women are half as likely to hold senior leadership positions at medical schools, even after controlling for publication productivity. 102

Moreover, URiM women were only 13% of faculty in 2018, and it seems that progress has stalled, as the figure was 12% in 2009. In addition, the majority of URiM women work at the rank of assistant professor. Among the already small proportion of women chairs in basic science and clinical science departments, only 15% were from URiM groups in the 2018–2019 academic year. 67 ORWH continues to support innovative collaborative programs to advance women's participation in biomedical careers and foster their leadership opportunities ( Table 4 )—particularly addressing the barriers identified by research. 74

Examples of National Institutes of Health's Efforts and Leadership to Advance the Careers of Women in Biomedicine

Reasons for Optimism: Responsiveness, Collaborations, and Strategic Thinking

Although these challenges are significant, NIH can leverage collective ability, experience, and infrastructure to solve these problems. We have a clear way forward, as Advancing Science for the Health of Women: The Trans-NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health Research provides a solid framework for advancing strategic goals and improving the health of women. And we understand that the value of NIH investments in women's health research goes beyond the individual to have a significant impact on society, as demonstrated in recent microsimulation analyses that found large returns from very small health improvements among women. 103

ORWH knows that it cannot do it alone. At the 5th Annual Vivian W. Pinn Symposium, ORWH explicitly focused on building a broad-based network of government, nonprofit, academic, and business organizations to integrate sex and gender into biomedical research. ORWH's strong collaborative partnerships—so crucial to the progress achieved in its first three decades—ensure that the office will meet pressing needs, rise to future challenges, and catalyze the scientific breakthroughs, resulting in optimal health for all women during the next 30 years and beyond. 6 , 104


The authors thank all speakers and panelists at the ORWH 30th Anniversary Scientific Symposium. Special thanks to Dr. John Balbus (NIEHS), Dr. Pauline M. Maki (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Dr. Shaheen Lakhan (Virginia Tech University and Carilion Clinic), who inspired the inclusion of some topics discussed in this article.

Authors' Contribution

R.D. and J.A.C. conceived the structure of the information presented and provided references. L.A.W. searched for supporting references and wrote the article with support from R.D. and J.A.C.

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

Funding Information

No funding has been received for this article. Dr. Whitten performed her work as part of an ORWH contract with Synergy Enterprises, Inc.

Gender equality in research: papers and projects by Highly Cited Researchers

research topics on women's issues

Strategic Alliances and Engagement Manager

Empowering women and girls is a critical target of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this installment of our blog series about Highly Cited Researchers contributing to the UN SDGs, we focus on SDG 5: Gender Equality. We discuss the research that Highly Cited Researchers have published and the trends we’re seeing emerge.

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and yet women have just three quarters of the legal rights of men today. While the speed of progress differs across regions, laws, policies, budgets and institutions must all be strengthened on an international scale to grant women equal rights as men.

The socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and high-profile policy changes like the overturning of Roe v. Wade have shown how much work needs to be done. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many women to leave the workforce and amplified challenges related to child and elder care, with women shouldering much of the burden. This can disproportionately affect girls’ educational prospects and, as is often the case in stressful environments and during times of crisis, puts women at increased risk of domestic violence .

While some high-profile issues related to women’s rights and safety make the news cycle, gender inequalities are firmly entrenched in every society, impacting the daily lives of women and girls in ways that are rarely reported on. As Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, once said , “from the economy to climate change to criminal justice reform to national security, all issues are women’s issues.”

Women’s issues are interconnected with all the SDGs, as we touched on in our recent post in this series, which explored the research centered around SDG 16: Peaceful, just and strong institutions . In that post we found that sexual, domestic and intimate partner abuse and violence against women are the most published topics related to SDG 16.

In this post, we look at Highly Cited Researchers who focus specifically on SDG 5 and issues of equality and gender .

What is SDG 5: Gender equality?

SDG 5: Gender Equality is intended to address the serious inequalities and threats faced by women around the globe. The targets related to this goal include:

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

research topics on women's issues

There has been an increase in articles and reviews related to this SDG since the establishment of the SDGs in 2015. This trend graph from InCites Benchmarking & Analytics ™, using Web of Science Core Collection ™ data, shows growth from 86,000 papers in 2015 to 152,000 in 2021. That’s a 77% increase in six years.

Growth in academic papers related to SDG 5: Gender Equality

research topics on women's issues

Source: Incites Benchmarking & Analytics. Dataset: articles and reviews related to SDG 5: Gender Equality published between 2015-2021.

The top ten countries publishing on SDG 5: Gender Equality during this period are shown below, with the U.S. producing roughly one third of all papers.

Countries producing the most papers related to SDG 5: Gender Equality

research topics on women's issues

We explore these angles from research published between 2010 and 2020 in more detail, below.

Inequalities in the treatment of women during childbirth

Özge Tunçalp , a Highly Cited Researcher from the World Health Organization (WHO), wrote a systematic review in 2015 about the mistreatment of women globally during childbirth. This paper, coauthored with Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, University of Sao Paulo and PSI (a global nonprofit working in healthcare), has been cited more than 590 times to date in the Web of Science Core Collection. Tunçalp’s paper provides further information about the type and degree of mistreatment in childbirth, which supports the development of measurement tools, programs and interventions in this area.

Tunçalp authored another open access paper on this topic in 2019 , which followed women in four low-income and middle-income countries to study their experiences during childbirth. Unfortunately, more than one third of the women in the study experienced mistreatment during childbirth, a critical time in their lives, with younger and less educated women found to be most at risk. Beyond showing that mistreatment during childbirth exists, this study demonstrates the inequalities in how some women are treated in comparison to others, which informs the interventions needed.

“Our research showed that mistreatment during childbirth occurs across low-, middle- and high-income countries and good quality of care needs to be respectful as well as safe, no matter where you are in the world.” Dr Özge Tunçalp, World Health Organization

According to Dr. Tunçalp, “Women and families have a right to positive pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal experiences, supported by empowered health workers, majority of whom are women. Improving the experience of care throughout pregnancy and childbirth is essential to help increase the trust in facility-based care – as well as ensuring access to quality postnatal care following birth. Our research showed that mistreatment during childbirth occurs across low-, middle- and high-income countries and good quality of care needs to be respectful as well as safe, no matter where you are in the world. It was critical to ensure that these findings were translated into WHO global recommendations to inform country policy and programmes .”

Autism spectrum disorder and the gender bias in diagnosis

William Mandy, a Highly Cited Researcher in Psychiatry and Psychology, looks at gender differences related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mandy, from University College London, and his co-authors found that the male-to-female ratio of children with ASD is closer to 3:1, not the often assumed 4:1 . With an apparent gender bias in diagnosis, girls who meet the criteria for ASD are at risk of being misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. This can cause confusion and challenges with social interactions growing up, and can put women and girls at greater risk of traumatic experiences. Mandy et al’s paper has been cited more than 830 times to date.

“The reason for this diagnostic bias is that sex and gender influence how autism presents, such that the presentations of autistic girls and women often do not fit well with current conceptualisations of the condition, which were largely based on mainly male samples.” Dr William Mandy, University College London

When asked about the relevance of his research to the clinical community, Dr. Mandy said: “Clinicians have long held the suspicion that there is a diagnostic bias against autistic girls and women – that they are more likely to fly under the diagnostic radar. Our work (Loomes et al., 2017) has helped to provide systematic, empirical evidence that this bias does indeed exist, and to quantify its impact, in terms of how many autistic girls go undiagnosed.

The reason for this diagnostic bias is that sex and gender influence how autism presents, such that the presentations of autistic girls and women often do not fit well with current conceptualisations of the condition, which were largely based on mainly male samples. Therefore, to address the gender bias in autism diagnosis, we need an evidence-based understanding of the characteristics of autistic girls and women. Our study (Bargiela et al, 2016), in which we interviewed late-diagnosed autistic women about their lives, helps do this, revealing distinctive features of autistic women and of their experiences. This knowledge is shaping research and clinical practice.”

Going forward

The above papers are just a few examples of Highly Cited Researchers contributing to SDG 5-Gender Equality. Others focus on depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, cardiovascular disease and ovarian cancer. The fact that biomedical research featured so prominently in these results should not be a surprise. Gender bias has been identified in many areas of healthcare, including patient diagnosis , discrimination against health care workers , and low rates of women in clinical studies to name a few.

The Highly Cited Researchers working on gender equality within their respective fields, which also include social sciences, economics and other areas in addition to medicine, are helping to address the complex issues related to SDG 5. And what’s worthy of note is that many of the researchers mentioned here were named as Highly Cited Researchers in the cross-field category, which identifies researchers who have contributed to Highly Cited Papers across several different fields. This shows that a multifaceted and integrated approach to gender equality research may be playing a significant role in addressing this global issue.

Stay up to date

We discussed the SDG Publishers Compact in the first post in our series and then celebrated the Highly Cited Researchers in SDG 1: No Poverty and SDG 2: Zero Hunger. We then covered SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 4: Quality Education , and then jumped ahead to cover SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions . Alongside this, we also looked at Ukrainian research contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, here , and published an Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)™Insights paper called, Climate change collaboration: Why we need an international approach to research .

In our next post, we will identify Highly Cited Researchers who are working to address SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

At Clarivate, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and this includes support of human rights, diversity and inclusion, and social justice. Read more about our commitment to driving sustainability worldwide, and see highlights from our 2021 Clarivate Sustainability Report .

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TOP 100 Gender Equality Essay Topics

Jason Burrey

Table of Contents

research topics on women's issues

Need ideas for argumentative essay on gender inequality? We’ve got a bunch!

… But let’s start off with a brief intro.

What is gender equality?

Equality between the sexes is a huge part of basic human rights. It means that men and women have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential in all spheres of life.

Today, we still face inequality issues as there is a persistent gap in access to opportunities for men and women.

Women have less access to decision-making and higher education. They constantly face obstacles at the workplace and have greater safety risks. Maintaining equal rights for both sexes is critical for meeting a wide range of goals in global development.

Inequality between the sexes is an interesting area to study so high school, college, and university students are often assigned to write essays on gender topics.

In this article, we are going to discuss the key peculiarities of gender equality essay. Besides, we have created a list of the best essay topic ideas.

What is the specifics of gender equality essay?

Equality and inequality between the sexes are important historical and current social issues which impact the way students and their families live. They are common topics for college papers in psychology, sociology, gender studies.

When writing an essay on equality between the sexes, you need to argue for a strong point of view and support your argument with relevant evidence gathered from multiple sources.

But first, you’d need to choose a good topic which is neither too broad nor too narrow to research.

Research is crucial for the success of your essay because you should develop a strong argument based on an in-depth study of various scholarly sources.

Equality between sexes is a complex problem. You have to consider different aspects and controversial points of view on specific issues, show your ability to think critically, develop a strong thesis statement, and build a logical argument, which can make a great impression on your audience.

If you are looking for interesting gender equality essay topics, here you will find a great list of 100 topic ideas for writing essays and research papers on gender issues in contemporary society.

Should you find that some topics are too broad, feel free to narrow them down.

Powerful gender equality essay topics

Here are the top 25 hottest topics for your argumentative opinion paper on gender issues.

Whether you are searching for original creative ideas for gender equality in sports essay or need inspiration for gender equality in education essay, we’ve got you covered.

Use imagination and creativity to demonstrate your approach.

  • Analyze gender-based violence in different countries
  • Compare wage gap between the sexes in different countries
  • Explain the purpose of gender mainstreaming
  • Implications of sex differences in the human brain
  • How can we teach boys and girls that they have equal rights?
  • Discuss gender-neutral management practices
  • Promotion of equal opportunities for men and women in sports
  • What does it mean to be transgender?
  • Discuss the empowerment of women
  • Why is gender-blindness a problem for women?
  • Why are girls at greater risk of sexual violence and exploitation?
  • Women as victims of human trafficking
  • Analyze the glass ceiling in management
  • Impact of ideology in determining relations between sexes
  • Obstacles that prevent girls from getting quality education in African countries
  • Why are so few women in STEM?
  • Major challenges women face at the workplace
  • How do women in sport fight for equality?
  • Women, sports, and media institutions
  • Contribution of women in the development of the world economy
  • Role of gender diversity in innovation and scientific discovery
  • What can be done to make cities safer for women and girls?
  • International trends in women’s empowerment
  • Role of schools in teaching children behaviours considered appropriate for their sex
  • Feminism on social relations uniting women and men as groups

Gender roles essay topics

We can measure the equality of men and women by looking at how both sexes are represented in a range of different roles. You don’t have to do extensive and tiresome research to come up with gender roles essay topics, as we have already done it for you.

Have a look at this short list of top-notch topic ideas .

  • Are paternity and maternity leaves equally important for babies?
  • Imagine women-dominated society and describe it
  • Sex roles in contemporary western societies
  • Compare theories of gender development
  • Adoption of sex-role stereotyped behaviours
  • What steps should be taken to achieve gender-parity in parenting?
  • What is gender identity?
  • Emotional differences between men and women
  • Issues modern feminism faces
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity
  • Benefits of investing in girls’ education
  • Patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes in family relationships
  • Toys and games of girls and boys
  • Roles of men and women in politics
  • Compare career opportunities for both sexes in the military
  • Women in the US military
  • Academic careers and sex equity
  • Should men play larger roles in childcare?
  • Impact of an ageing population on women’s economic welfare
  • Historical determinants of contemporary differences in sex roles
  • Gender-related issues in gaming
  • Culture and sex-role stereotypes in advertisements
  • What are feminine traits?
  • Sex role theory in sociology
  • Causes of sex differences and similarities in behaviour

Gender inequality research paper topics

Examples of inequality can be found in the everyday life of different women in many countries across the globe. Our gender inequality research paper topics are devoted to different issues that display discrimination of women throughout the world.

Choose any topic you like, research it, brainstorm ideas, and create a detailed gender inequality essay outline before you start working on your first draft.

Start off with making a debatable thesis, then write an engaging introduction, convincing main body, and strong conclusion for gender inequality essay .

  • Aspects of sex discrimination
  • Main indications of inequality between the sexes
  • Causes of sex discrimination
  • Inferior role of women in the relationships
  • Sex differences in education
  • Can education solve issues of inequality between the sexes?
  • Impact of discrimination on early childhood development
  • Why do women have limited professional opportunities in sports?
  • Gender discrimination in sports
  • Lack of women having leadership roles
  • Inequality between the sexes in work-family balance
  • Top factors that impact inequality at a workplace
  • What can governments do to close the gender gap at work?
  • Sex discrimination in human resource processes and practices
  • Gender inequality in work organizations
  • Factors causing inequality between men and women in developing countries
  • Work-home conflict as a symptom of inequality between men and women
  • Why are mothers less wealthy than women without children?
  • Forms of sex discrimination in a contemporary society
  • Sex discrimination in the classroom
  • Justification of inequality in American history
  • Origins of sex discrimination
  • Motherhood and segregation in labour markets
  • Sex discrimination in marriage
  • Can technology reduce sex discrimination?

Most controversial gender topics

Need a good controversial topic for gender stereotypes essay? Here are some popular debatable topics concerning various gender problems people face nowadays.

They are discussed in scientific studies, newspaper articles, and social media posts. If you choose any of them, you will need to perform in-depth research to prepare an impressive piece of writing.

  • How do gender misconceptions impact behaviour?
  • Most common outdated sex-role stereotypes
  • How does gay marriage influence straight marriage?
  • Explain the role of sexuality in sex-role stereotyping
  • Role of media in breaking sex-role stereotypes
  • Discuss the dual approach to equality between men and women
  • Are women better than men or are they equal?
  • Sex-role stereotypes at a workplace
  • Racial variations in gender-related attitudes
  • Role of feminism in creating the alternative culture for women
  • Feminism and transgender theory
  • Gender stereotypes in science and education
  • Are sex roles important for society?
  • Future of gender norms
  • How can we make a better world for women?
  • Are men the weaker sex?
  • Beauty pageants and women’s empowerment
  • Are women better communicators?
  • What are the origins of sexual orientation?
  • Should prostitution be legal?
  • Pros and cons of being a feminist
  • Advantages and disadvantages of being a woman
  • Can movies defy gender stereotypes?
  • Sexuality and politics

Feel free to use these powerful topic ideas for writing a good college-level gender equality essay or as a starting point for your study.

No time to do decent research and write your top-notch paper? No big deal! Choose any topic from our list and let a pro write the essay for you!

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Getting Started in GWS Research

Getting started in research on a topic for a gender and women's studies class or examining how a particular issue affects women?  If you haven't already, take a look at the  GWS Portal  for starting information about the  Office of the GWS Librarian , other campus GWS offices, finding resources, managing citations, and more.

After you have explored the portal, then move on to this  guide which will direct you to resources pertaining to GWS research in specific subject areas. Use the databases listed below for almost any topic and then  click on the subject area from the menu on the left to see suggestions of resources targeted to that discipline.

Contact Karla J. Strand , Gender and Women's Studies Librarian, with any questions or to set up a research consultation.

Databases for any GWS topic

For almost any GWS-related topic, the following databases can be searched to find journal articles:

  • GenderWatch  - a gender, women, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues database with thousands of English-language full-text articles from over 200 magazines, academic journals, regional publications, and newsletters.
  • Women's Studies International  -  indexes women's studies, women's issues, and gender-focused books, book chapters, journal and magazine articles, dissertations, and reports from throughout the world, starting in about 1972. 
  • Academic Search - a multidisciplinary database that provides full text for more than 4,600 journals, including approximately 3,900 peer-reviewed titles.
  • JSTOR -  a full-text journal database which provides access to more than 1,200 titles in the fields of African-American studies, anthropology, architecture, Asian studies, biological sciences, botany, ecology, economics, education, film, finance, folklore, history, language, literature, mathematics, middle east studies, music, philosophy, political science, population/demography, religion, sociology, and statistics.
  • SocINDEX with Full Text -  includes full text for 397 "core coverage" sociology journals dating back to 1908 and 150 "priority coverage" journals. It also includes full text for more than 720 books and 6,743 conference papers. Abstracts for more than 800 journals are available back to 1895.
  • Alternative Press Index -  includes entries from more than 300 alternative, radical, and left publications. Subjects covered include social and cultural theory, socialism, ecology, democracy, anarchism, feminism, organized labor, indigenous peoples, and gays and lesbians (LGBT), among others.
  • Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts -  provides paragraph-long summaries of articles in a variety of English-language journals from around the world. 
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) -  provides free, full-text access to open access scientific and scholarly journals. Open access journals are journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access. DOAJ aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system, and it is not limited to particular languages or subject areas. 

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UN Women Strategic Plan 2022-2025

The 11 biggest hurdles for women’s equality by 2030

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There are only seven years left for the world to fulfil the promises made to girls and women in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and a new report by UN Women and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs highlights the biggest challenges remaining for global gender equality.

The 2023 edition of “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023” tracks gender equality across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and highlights 11 key roadblocks:

The SDG 5 Gender Equality logo is displayed with other SDG logos on a walkway at United Nations headquarters in New York during the UN General Assembly session in 2019. Photo: UN Women/Amanda Voisard.

1. Lack of women in leadership

With just 27 per cent of parliamentary seats, 36 per cent of local government seats, and 28 per cent of management positions held by women, there is a lack of diverse perspectives in decision-making processes, hindering comprehensive policy formulation.

2. Poverty and lack of economic opportunities

More than 340 million women and girls are projected to live in extreme poverty by 2030. This represents a staggering 8 per cent of the global female population surviving on less than USD 2.15 a day. Social protections, access to decent work, and other support systems are urgently needed to provide a path out of poverty.

3. Workplace discrimination and inequalities

Only 61 per cent of prime working-age women participate in the labour force, compared to 91 per cent of prime working-age men. This affects both economic growth and societal progress. In 2019, for each dollar men earned in labour income, women earned only 51 cents.

4. An imbalance in unpaid care work

On the current trajectory, the gap between the time spent by women and men on unpaid care will narrow slightly, but by 2050, women globally will still be spending 9.5 per cent more time (2.3 more hours per day) on unpaid care work than men. This persistent gap limits women’s participation in education, employment, and other opportunities.

5. Social norms and cultural practices

Harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation persist. Globally, one in five young women is married before age 18. The prevalence of child marriage highlights the need for attitudinal shifts and the promotion of legal frameworks that safeguard women and girls’ rights.

6. Inadequate access to education and health care

An estimated 110 million girls and young women may remain out of school by 2030. Stalled progress in reducing maternal mortality and expanding educational opportunities call for targeted interventions to meet the 2030 goals.

7. Food insecurity

Nearly 24 per cent of women and girls are expected to experience moderate to severe food insecurity by 2030. Empowering women in food and agricultural systems by enhancing access to land and resources is vital for ensuring food security and economic growth.

8. Violence against women and girls

Each year, 245 million women and girls experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner. Older women also face higher rates of poverty and violence than older men.

9. Inadequate funding for gender equality initiatives

Only 4 per cent of total bilateral aid is allocated to gender equality and women's empowerment. The additional investment needed for achieving gender equality by 2030 is estimated at USD 360 billion per year.

10. Legal barriers and poorly enforced legislation

At least 28 countries do not have laws granting women equal rights to enter marriage and initiate divorce, and 67 countries lack laws prohibiting direct and indirect discrimination against women. Where legislation does exist to promote gender equality, effective implementation remains a challenge.

11. Lack of access to clean energy and sanitation

An estimated 341 million women and girls are projected to lack electricity by 2030. Universal access could significantly reduce poverty and improve women’s health.

With just seven years remaining to achieve the 2030 targets, concerted efforts and funding are more necessary than ever. Each step forward, no matter how incremental, brings us closer to a future where gender equality is not just a goal, but a reality.

  • 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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380 Powerful Women’s Rights & Feminism Topics [2024]

Are you looking for perfect feminist topics? Then you’ve come to the right place. With our help, you can be sure to craft a great essay. Here, you can find feminist topics for discussion, feminism research topics and other ideas and questions for students.

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

Some people think all feminists hate men. It couldn’t be further from the truth! Feminists are people of all genders who believe that they are socially and politically equal. Thanks to their achievements, women’s rights around the world are progressing.

If you want to contribute to the discussion, this article has what you need. Here, our custom writing experts compiled:

  • Creative feminism topics for your paper,
  • Tips to help you pick the perfect topic.

Let’s dive right in!

🔝 Top 10 Feminism Essay Topics

  • ✅ How to Choose a Topic

⚖️ Top 10 Women’s Rights Essay Topics

🔬 top 10 feminism research topics.

  • 📜 Women’s Rights History Topics
  • 💪👩 Feminism Topics
  • 📚 Feminist Theory
  • 👩‍💻 Women Empowerment
  • 👩‍🎓 Women’s Studies
  • 🏥 Abortion Topics
  • 🙅‍♀️ Domestic Violence

🔍 References

  • The 4 waves of feminism
  • Liberal vs. radical feminism
  • What is feminist psychology?
  • Feminist views on trans rights
  • Why ecofeminism is important
  • How has feminism changed culture?
  • Feminism interactions with socialism
  • The effects of liberal feminism on the society
  • Civil rights movement’s influence on feminism
  • The main proponents of feminist standpoint theory

✅ How to Choose a Feminism Topic

Picking the right topic is a crucial first step for any assignment. Check out these tips for a little starting help:

  • Formulate your topic as a question , such as “What makes Alice Schwarzer a controversial feminist figure?” This trick will help you clearly determine what your essay will be about.
  • Compile a keyword list . Once you have a general idea of what you want to work on, think of related words and phrases. For example, if our area of interest is “ Feminism in America , ” some of our keywords might be women’s suffrage movement , Fifteenth Amendment, birth control . You can use them to outline your research.
  • A concept map can be a helpful brainstorming tool to organize your ideas. Put your area of interest (for instance, women empowerment ) in a circle in the middle. Write all related concepts around it, and connect them with lines.
  • Stay clear from overused themes . Writing on popular subjects might be tempting. But can you offer a unique perspective on the issue? Choose such topics only if your answer is “yes.”
  • Make sure there is enough information available . Sure, an essay on the role of women in 17th century Tongan culture sounds exciting. Unfortunately, finding good sources on this topic might prove difficult. You can refer to subjects of this kind if you’re researching a thesis or a dissertation.

Now you’re ready to find your perfect topic. Keep reading and let one of our exciting suggestions inspire you.

Just in 1 hour! We will write you a plagiarism-free paper in hardly more than 1 hour

  • Gender bias in driving
  • Girls’ education in Afghanistan
  • Women’s political rights in Syria
  • Women’s land ownership rights
  • Overincarceration of women in the US
  • Resettlement of women refugees: risks
  • Abortion rights in conservative countries
  • Reproductive rights and HIV among women
  • Honor killings as women’s rights violation
  • Access to cervical cancer prevention for women of color
  • Gender equity vs. gender equality
  • Adverse effects of child marriage
  • #Metoo movement’s impact on society
  • Environmental crisis as a feminist issue
  • The importance of women’s education
  • Is gender equality a social justice issue?
  • Why is teen pregnancy dangerous?
  • How can gender biases be lessened?
  • Ethics of artificial reproductive technologies
  • Legacy of women’s suffrage movement

📜 History of Women’s Rights Topics

The history of women’s rights in America is long and full of struggles. The US is still far from having achieved complete equality. And in many developing countries, the situation is even worse. If you’re interested in the feminist movements and activists who paved the way thus far, this section is for you.

  • The role of women in the first American settlements.
  • Why weren’t women allowed to serve in combat positions in the US army until 2013?
  • What happened at the Seneca Falls Convention?
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Women’s Suffrage in America.
  • Discuss the impact of Sojourner Truth’s Ain’t I a Woman? speech.
  • Explore gender equality in 20th century Britain.
  • Trace the timeline of events that led to the 19th amendment.
  • Why was the invention of the pill a milestone in the fight for equal rights ?
  • The legacy of Amelia Earhart.
  • What was The Bitch Manifesto ?
  • Outline the history of women in American politics .
  • The role of women in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • How did the Comstock Laws affect the struggle for women’s rights?
  • How did Ruth Bader Ginsburg fight against gender discrimination in the US?
  • In what ways did the introduction of Islamic law improve women’s rights in Arabia?
  • Artemisia Gentileschi: forerunner of feminism.
  • In 2016, the first female president was nominated by a major US party. Why did it take so long?
  • Explore the origins of witch trials in Europe.
  • What did Molly Dewson achieve?
  • The history of women’s rights in Russia vs. England.
  • How did WWI influence the fight for equal rights ?
  • What were the goals of the Women’s Trade Union League?
  • The effects of the Equal Pay Act.

Cheris Kramarae quote.

  • Study the connection between women’s health and rights throughout history. 
  • When did women receive the right to own property in America? Why was it important? 
  • Debate the role of women in history of theater.  
  • In the past, Russia was one of the first European countries to introduce women’s suffrage . In 2016, it decriminalized domestic violence. What led to this change? 
  • Women in the workforce: the long road towards workplace equality . 
  • Minna Canth: the history of women’s rights activism in Finland. 
  • Who were “The Famous Five”? 
  • Why was Japan quicker to enact equality laws than its European counterparts? 
  • The role and visibility of women writers in the 19th century. 
  • What problems did the National Organization for Women face? 
  • Discuss the foundation and impact of the Redstockings. Did they reflect the general attitude of women towards liberation at the time? 
  • Who or what was responsible for the failure of the ERA ? 
  • The role of women in Ancient Greek communities.  
  • Alice Paul and the Silent Sentinels: how did they contribute to establishing the right to vote for women? 
  • Why was Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique critical to the progress of feminism in the 20th century? 
  • The presidential candidacy of Victoria Woodhull. 
  • What was the purpose of the Hull House? How did it advance women’s rights? 
  • Why did Elizabeth Cady Stanton oppose the Fifteenth Amendment? 
  • Lucy Stone’s influence on the abolitionist and women’s rights movements . 
  • Discuss the significance of literature for the success of the suffragist movement in America. 
  • Slavery: compare women’s and men’s narratives.  
  • How Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s speeches and poetry changed the world. 
  • Emmeline Pankhurst as the central figure of the UK’s suffragette movement. 
  • Why did it take so long for suffragette movements around the globe to gain traction? 
  • From a historical perspective, why weren’t women’s rights the same as human rights? 
  • Trace the development of women liberation in Morocco. 
  • Investigate the founding of women’s day. 

👩👍 Feminism Topics to Research

Feminism is a global phenomenon. That’s why it’s not surprising that the term has many definitions. What to consider sexism? What can we do about it? How important is the concept of gender? Those are central questions feminists around the world seek to answer. Feminism’s areas of study include politics, sociology, and economics.

  • Compare feminist issues on a global scale.
  • What distinguishes radical feminists from liberal ones?
  • Black feminism: is it a separate movement?
  • When does “being a gentleman” become sexist?
  • Is feminism always anti-racist?
  • What do we need gender concepts for?
  • Feminism oppression in Islamic countries.
  • How do gender stereotypes form in children?
  • Why are societies around the globe still struggling to achieve full equality?
  • The effects of gender-oriented politics.
  • Can men be feminists? (Consider Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists )
  • How did the patriarchy develop?
  • Would a matriarchal society be more peaceful than a patriarchal one? Draw your conclusions from real-life examples.
  • Compare and contrast Judith Butler and Alice Schwarzer.
  • Effectiveness of provocative methods in feminism.
  • What’s the problem with unisex bathrooms in restaurants and bars?
  • Discuss the prejudice transgender people face. What should we do about it?
  • Why are reproductive rights a crucial issue on the way to equality?
  • Describe various types of feminism.
  • How can hairstyle function as a political statement?
  • Which feminist movements are most prevalent in Asia?
  • Trace the history of feminist ethics.
  • What’s the “pink tax,” and why should it be abolished?
  • Discuss Audre Lorde’s feminism.
  • How does feminist research methodology influence education?
  • Sexism in advertising : why is it still a problem?
  • What are the goals of Girls Who Code?
  • The role of literacy politics in achieving gender equality .
  • Stay at home moms: are they a step back on the feminist agenda?
  • Explore the origins of color-coding pink and blue as girl and boy colors, respectively.
  • Are beauty pageants harmful to women’s positive body image?
  • The problem of ableism in intersectional feminist movements.
  • What is identity politics , and why is it important?
  • New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, recently introduced her new cabinet. Of the 20 people who serve in it, eight are women, five Maori, three belong to the minority Pasifika, and three are queer. Is it what all future cabinets should strive for?
  • What makes racism a feminist issue?
  • Describe how objectification works and why it is harmful.
  • A history of women inventors who didn’t get credit for their innovations.
  • Female circumcision as an example of women’s oppression disguised as a cultural tradition.
  • The infantilization of women: origins and effects.

Infantilization of women.

  • Define how feminism influences science.
  • How does one avoid gender bias when raising a child?
  • What popular ideas about feminism are myths?
  • Gender inequality in politics of India and Iran .
  • What is the definition of ecofeminism? Describe its merits.
  • How do men benefit from feminism?
  • Why do we need gender equality in language?
  • Problems of reconciling religion and the LGBTQ community.
  • More and more fitness clubs introduce “women’s hours.” Some bars are only open for women. They claim to do this to create safe spaces. What’s your position on this development?
  • Anti-feminism: is it a movement for the far-right?
  • The impact of #metoo on work culture.

📚 Feminist Theory Topics to Look Into

Feminist theory criticizes how culture perpetuates misogyny. The best way to look at it is to divide feminism into three waves:

  • First-wave feminism (the late 1700s – early 1900s). It includes the women’s suffrage movement.
  • Second-wave feminism (the 1960s – ’70s.) Key points are equal working conditions and feminist political activism.
  • Third-wave feminism (1990s – today). It encompasses not only women but all marginalized groups.

Take a look at culture from a feminist perspective with our topics:

  • Discuss the concept of feminism in Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy.
  • Explain the success of Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women.
  • What inequalities between men and women does Mary Wollstonecraft mention in A Vindication of the Rights of Women ?
  • Masculinity and femininity in William Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage.
  • An existentialist view: how Simone de Beauvoir influenced the feminist discourse.
  • The role of women in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.
  • Discuss the power dynamics between men and women in the Terminator series.
  • How does rap music perpetuate traditional concepts of masculinity ?
  • Daisy’s character in The Great Gatsby through a feminist lens.
  • Write about the depiction of women and the patriarchy in Mad Men.
  • What distinguishes the third wave of feminism from the other two?
  • Women’s history and media in Susan Douglas’ Where the Girls Are .
  • What is the goal of gynocriticism?
  • Possibilities of sisterhood in Hulu’s TV show A Handmaid’s Tale .
  • Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar : where does Esther Greenwood see her place in society?
  • Early feminist perspectives in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.
  • Compare and contrast how the characters in Mulan react to the protagonist as a woman vs. a man.
  • Life stages of women in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma .
  • Why were feminists unhappy about Prado’s exhibition Uninvited Guests ?
  • Sexuality and society in Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire .
  • Gender expectations in The Little Mermaid .
  • Feminist concepts and issues in Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why .
  • Challenging traditional femininity: independence and rebellion in Thelma and Louise.
  • The target audience of Mad Max: Fury Road is stated as male. Yet, the central character of the film Furiosa is a strong rebel woman. Does this make it a feminist movie?
  • Persepolis : what it means to grow up as a liberal woman in Iran.
  • Blockbuster movies have an enormous reach. Does it obligate them to support feminist issues?
  • Marjorie Liu’s Monstress : what does it tell us about feminism?
  • The Berlin Film Festival announced that they would no longer crown the best actor and actress. Instead, they honor the best performance in either a leading or supporting role. What are the consequences of this?
  • What does it mean to criticize an art piece from a feminist point of view?
  • Compare and contrast the portrayal of female characters in horror genre throughout the years.
  • Analyze Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto . Why does the author use the cyborg metaphor? What arguments does it help bring across?
  • How do black women characters in Toni Morrison’s novels experience society?
  • What makes various awards an important instrument of feminism?
  • Analyze Katniss Everdeen archetype in Hunger Games.
  • Many classic children’s stories include outdated depictions of women and people of color. Because of this, some people are demanding to ban or censor them. Do you think this is the right way to tackle the problem?
  • What does the term “male gaze” mean, and why is it a problem?
  • The role of the body in feminist aesthetics.
  • Discuss the impact of women philosophers on renowned male scholars of their time.
  • What distinguishes feminist art from other art forms?
  • Debate the political dimension of using women in body art.
  • Does the message in Lemonade make Beyoncé a feminist icon?
  • Why are misogynist song lyrics still widely accepted?
  • How did Aretha Franklin’s music impact the Civil Rights Movement in America?
  • Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray from a queer theoretical perspective.
  • Objectification in film: analyzing Rachel’s character in The Dark Knight.
  • Investigate the Star Wars’ representation problem. How did the franchise develop into a battleground for diversity?
  • Misogynist vs. psycho: feminist aspects of David Fincher’s Gone Girl.
  • Was the diversity in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a good thing?
  • The cultural significance of strong female characters.
  • Examine the concept of femininity in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

👩‍💻 Women Empowerment Topics to Write About

Women were excluded from crucial work areas such as the military and politics for a long time. This situation is changing now. Empowerment programs encourage women to seek professions in typically male-dominated areas. Do you want to research ways of increasing women’s control over their choices? Check out the following topics:

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  • Joan of Arc as a leadership idol.
  • The role of She Should Run in encouraging women to run for political positions.
  • What should we do about higher education barriers for African American women?
  • Examine current trends in female empowerment .
  • Importance of the women’s empowerment principles.

Virginia Woolf quote.

  • How can businesses use the Gender Gap Analysis Tool to promote equality in their companies?
  • Why is there such a big gap between committing to advancing equality and corporate efforts to implement women’s empowerment programs?
  • What business practices need to change so that men and women benefit from work programs equally?
  • Analyse the reasons behind poor body image among young women.
  • How does the transition from cash to digital payrolls help empower women in developing countries?
  • What challenges do large companies face when it comes to gender equality ?
  • How does making fashion a circular economy impact women?
  • Discuss what everyone can do to empower the women in their community.
  • Why is it important to demand fair pay?
  • The impact of Reese Witherspoon’s media company Hello Sunshine.
  • What does it mean to be empowered?
  • The influence of climate change on gender equality.
  • Women in leadership positions: the rhetoric and the reality.
  • Social stigma and family planning: the work of HER project in Kenya.
  • CARE: why providing women with access to clean water is crucial for empowerment.
  • How do you teach a girl that she can make a difference?
  • Achievements of the global Women Deliver Conferences.
  • How does Pro-Mujer help underprivileged women in Latin America?
  • Why is workplace health a particular concern for women empowerment?
  • What can businesses do to bridge the financial inclusion gender gap?
  • Debate how strengthening women’s social position helps fight discrimination against all kinds of marginalized groups.
  • Analyze the various benefits of women empowerment.
  • Fighting gender stereotypes in the 21st century.
  • The connection between a lack of women in politics and missing programs to support marginalized groups.
  • What are patriarchal taboos that keep women from seeking power?
  • How can a gender perspective on resilience activities assist businesses in finding ways to combat climate change?
  • What methods does the #WithHer movement use to raise awareness of violence against women?
  • The Spotlight Initiative: training sex workers to escape violence in Haiti.
  • Define the gender digital divide.
  • What’s the problem with the female gendering of AI assistants?
  • Criticize the Gender Empowerment Measure.
  • What role does the internet play in empowering girls?
  • Compare the Gender Parity Index in the US and South Africa.
  • How is Every Mother Counts working to decrease deaths related to pregnancies?
  • Debate the reliability of the Gender Development Index.
  • Child Marriage : the impact of Girls Not Brides.
  • What are the political and social constraints that hamper women’s empowerment in Nigeria?
  • How can you encourage women to give public speeches ?
  • How does e-learning help women worldwide gain independence?
  • Explore the influence of the women’s rights movement on anti-descrimination activities.
  • Challenges of women business in Mauritius.
  • Labibah Hashim as an inspirational figure for women empowerment in Lebanon.
  • How did Malaka Saad’s magazine al-Jens al-Latif inspire women to educate themselves in the Arab world?
  • The development of sexual harassment policies in East Africa.
  • How does microfinance in South America help women to start businesses?

👩‍🎓 Interesting Women’s Studies Topics for an Essay

Women’s or gender studies is an interdisciplinary science. It combines research from many fields, such as economics, psychology, and the natural sciences. Key aspects are women’s experiences and cultural as well as social constructs surrounding gender.

  • What is velvet rope discrimination?
  • The IT sphere is comparatively modern. Why does it still have such a gender gap problem?
  • Is paid maternity/ paternity leave a fundamental right for workers?
  • How do we break the glass ceiling in today’s society?
  • Discussing social taboos: postnatal depression.
  • Women in religion: why shouldn’t women be priestesses?
  • The queer of color critique: history and theory.
  • Should feminists be against supporting care policies?
  • Does foreign aid benefit women entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • Gender bias in criminal justice.
  • What does legalized prostitution mean for sex workers?
  • Does “stealthing” make otherwise consensual sex nonconsensual? Should this practice have legal consequences?
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks : a gendered analysis.
  • Rojava: give an overview of the egalitarian feminist society.
  • The role of women in modern nation-building processes.
  • How do we include transgender athletes into sex-segregated competitive sports?
  • Discuss the significance of gender in the euthanasia debate .
  • Chivalry and capital punishment : why are women who commit murders less likely to be sentenced to death?
  • Why do men have less confidence in women’s abilities than in men’s?
  • Are hijabs always a symbol of oppression?
  • Write about the role of feminism in international relations.
  • Universal basic income: changing perspectives for women.
  • Gamergate: what does it tell us about some men’s view on the video game industry?
  • Discuss the social construction of gender roles.
  • What is benevolent sexism, and why is it a problem?
  • The military seems to be especially notorious when it comes to discriminating against LGBT people. Where might this originate from?
  • Many army officers don’t hide that they don’t want women to serve. Why do women still do it? Why should they?
  • The Eurovision Song Contest gave drag queen Conchita Wurst an enormous audience. How did she use this opportunity?
  • Why are men who wear typically female clothing stigmatized?
  • How have The Guerilla Girls shaped the art world in the past 30 years?
  • Healthcare: what challenges do transgender patients face?
  • Femme invisibility: discrimination inside the LGBT community.
  • How did the idea develop that gay men and lesbians have to act and look a certain way to be considered queer?
  • The history of sodomy laws in the US.
  • “The Squad” as an example of the current success of left-wing women in politics.
  • Should women use their attractiveness to get what they want?
  • Are the careers of women scientists more affected by turmoil than those of their male counterparts?

Some of the most important female scientists.

  • Do children’s toys restrict gender criteria?
  • Many drugs are only tested on male subjects. How does this affect women?
  • Enumerate some qualities that are seen as positive in men and negative in women. Why do you think this happens?
  • Discuss the significance of the “Transgender Tipping Point.”
  • The meaning of “home” and home spaces for women over the centuries.
  • How do gender issues influence lawmaking?
  • Analyze queer narratives from post-soviet states. How do gender norms in these countries differ from those in your community?
  • Transgender representation in media: views of Viviane Namaste and Julia Serano.
  • Nuclear power between politics and culture: a feminist perspective.
  • Women guards in national socialist concentration camps.
  • What reasons do women have for sex tourism ?
  • The problem of eurocentrism in European education.
  • Explore the connection between citizenship and race.

🏥 Abortion Topics to Research

For some, abortion is a fundamental healthcare right. Others view it as a criminal act. Many conservative governments continue to restrict the access to this procedure. Because of this discrepancy, abortion remains a fiercely debated topic all around the globe. Consider one of these thought-provoking ideas:

  • Why was Roe v. Wade such a landmark decision?
  • Discuss why some CEOs step up against abortion bans .
  • Abortion in transgender and intersex people.
  • From a biological point of view, when does life begin?
  • What signs should indicate that it is too late to terminate the pregnancy?
  • Who influenced the abortion debate before Roe v. Wade?
  • Is abortion morally wrong? If so, does that mean it’s always impermissible?
  • Under what circumstances is terminating a life justified?
  • Who or what defines if a being has the right to life or not?
  • Analyse the access to abortion clinics as a policy issue.
  • Reproductive rights and medical access in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • People terminate pregnancies, whether it’s illegal or not. Why would one still outlaw abortions?
  • Investigate the occurrence of forced abortions during China’s one-child policy .
  • Is the fetus’ right to life more important than the mother’s right to have control over her body?
  • What rights are more essential than the right to life?
  • Discuss women’s health as their integral right.
  • Should there be restrictions on abortions?
  • Can better access to contraceptives reduce the number of abortions?
  • At what point does a fetus become a human being?
  • Is selective abortion ethical?
  • Germany’s paragraph 219a prohibits the display of information on abortion services. In 2019, the government decided to revise it, and now patients can consult a list provided by the department for health education. Is this compromise enough?
  • What is the moral status of a human embryo?
  • Should pregnancy terminations be free for low-income women?
  • Is the criminalization of abortion discrimination?
  • The social and psychological impact of pregnancy terminations on families.
  • Should the man have a say in whether the woman has an abortion or not?
  • What non-religious persuasive arguments against abortion are there?
  • Are there good and bad reasons for ending a pregnancy?
  • Should it be required for teenagers to have their parents’ consent for the abortion procedure?
  • Examine the arguments of pro-life movement.
  • Analyze how the public’s attitude towards abortion has changed over the past 50 years.
  • Is withholding access to abortions a violation of human rights?
  • After week-long strikes, the Polish government has delayed its proposed abortion ban. Is this a victory for the local feminist movement?
  • Compare and contrast the various legal abortion methods.
  • Analyze A Defense of Abortion by Judith Jarvis Thomson.
  • How is abortion viewed in Eastern vs. Western countries?
  • Describe potential health issues surrounding late-term pregnancy terminations.
  • How can we prevent unsafe abortions ?
  • What complications can occur during the abortion process?
  • Debate the impact of the March for Life.
  • Discuss whether women should have an abortion if diagnostics show fetal abnirmalities.
  • What does Planned Parenthood do, and why is the organization important?
  • Should Helms Amendment be repealed?
  • How does the Hyde Amendment impact women of color in particular?
  • Is forcing a woman to carry out an undesired pregnancy morally permissible?
  • Mexican newspaper coverage on issues surrounding abortions.
  • What are the possible health consequences of an abortion?
  • Reproductive justice and women of color: the history of SisterSong.
  • Compare organizations that offer information on abortions.
  • How is the topic of abortion approached in Jason Reitman’s film Juno ?

🙅‍♀️ Domestic Violence Topics for a Paper

Domestic violence comes in many shapes, and it’s not always directed against women. It traumatizes not only the victim but the whole family. The long-term impacts on the victims are catastrophic, too. If you want to write a research paper on this topic, be sure to steel yourself before starting your reading.

  • How did the COVID-19 lockdowns influence domestic violence cases?
  • Domestic violence in closed religious communities.
  • Does the type of abuse differ if the perpetrator is a man or a woman?
  • Compare the problem of spousal abuse in the US, Asia, and Africa.
  • Why do many victims choose not to report their cases of domestic violence?
  • From a psychological perspective, why does domestic violence happen?
  • Domestic violence prevention : the role of parental communication.
  • Should a person with a history of abuse have custody over their child?
  • Why are men more likely to resort to violence than women?
  • Identify risk factors that can lead to elder abuse.
  • Trace how the frequency of reports on domestic violence has changed in your community over the past 30 years.

Domestic abuse is characterized by the following pattern.

  • Why do some victims choose to stay with their abusive partners?
  • What actions would you classify as domestic abuse?
  • Domestic violence and feminism in Bell Hooks’ theory.
  • Cultural perspectives on domestic violence : Saudi Arabia vs. Japan.
  • What do different religions say about IPV ?
  • If a victim kills its abuser to escape the violence, what legal consequences should they face?
  • Examine the legislature of different states concerning marital rape .
  • The social and legal concept of consent in marriage.
  • Domestic violence and integrity among women of color.
  • Abuse in teenage relationships.
  • Common psychological characteristics of a person who commits parricide.
  • Effects of emotional neglect on a child’s mental development .
  • Discuss the effectiveness of art therapy for victims of domestic violence.
  • The significance of Oregon v. Rideout.
  • Explore the link between spousal and animal abuse.
  • What is the Battered Woman Syndrome?
  • Analyze different forms of domestic violence using case studies.
  • Study the psychology behind victim blaming.
  • How do mental illnesses and domestic violence affect each other?
  • What are the signs of coercive control? How can one get out of it?
  • The problem of control in gay relationships.
  • How does one develop Stockholm Syndrome, and what does it entail?
  • Analyze the discourse surrounding domestic violence in Hong Kong.
  • The pseudo-family as a sociological concept.
  • Compare cases of domestic violence in military and religious families.
  • What is compassionate homicide, and how does the law deal with it?
  • If a juvenile delinquent was abused as a child, should that lessen their sentence?
  • Parental abduction: why do parents feel the need to kidnap their children?
  • Domestic violence: new solutions.
  • Is one sibling bullying the other a form of domestic abuse?
  • How do communities typically respond to domestic violence ?
  • Explore the link between women’s suicide and abuse.
  • What can healthcare specialists do to identify victims of violence more effectively?
  • What are the economic and social consequences of leaving an abusive relationship ?
  • How does Netflix’s show You portray the relationship between a stalker and his victim?
  • Treatment of perpetrators of domestic violence .
  • Why do some people repeatedly end up in relationships with IPV ?
  • What are the main motives for femicides ?
  • Discuss the psychological aggression men and women suffer during separation processes.

With all these great ideas in mind, you’re ready to ace your assignment. Good luck!

Further reading:

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

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  • Feminism: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Picking a Topic: University of Michigan-Flint
  • Women’s History Milestones: History.com
  • Women Rising: Women’s Activism That Has Shaped the World as You Know It: UN Women
  • Topics in Feminism: The University of Sydney
  • Four Waves of Feminism: Pacific University
  • Feminist Philosophy: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Women’s Empowerment: BSR
  • Women Empowerment: United Nations Populations Fund
  • Women’s & Gender Studies Research Network: SSRN
  • Gender Studies: UCLA
  • Key Facts on Abortion: Amnesty.org
  • Abortion Ethics: NIH
  • New Perspectives on Domestic Violence: Frontiers
  • Domestic Violence against Women: Mayo Clinic
  • What Is Domestic Abuse?: United Nations
  • Feminist Research: SAGE Publications Inc
  • Topic Guide: Feminism: Broward College
  • Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment: UN Women
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84 Gender Issues Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best gender issues topic ideas & essay examples, 👍 good essay topics on gender issues, ❓ essay questions about gender and sexuality.

  • Gender Issues: Femininity and Masculinity Depiction of the Portuguese visitors to Benin by artist in the 16th century clearly emphasizes on that exclusion of women and the embrace of masculinity.
  • Gender Issues in the Movie “The Stoning of Soraya M.” Gender roles and the discrimination of women have been the main topics of concern in most movies in the recent past. The movie shows women as inferior to men as illustrated by the differentials in […] We will write a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts 808 writers online Learn More
  • Gender Inequality as a Global Issue This essay will examine some of the causes that affect the gap in the treatment of men and women, and its ramifications, particularly regarding developing countries.
  • Gender Issues in the Movie “The Accused” by J. Kaplan Diffusion of responsibility could be used to explain his action in that Kurt’s action was as a result of the negative influence by his male counterparts who shouted to him that he holds Sarah down, […]
  • Gender Issues: Education and Feminism These experiences in many times strongly affects the individual’s understanding, reasoning, action about the particular issue in contention In this work two issues of great influence and relevance to our societies are discussed.
  • Gender Issues in the School Environment Studies show that the school does not convene the needs of a child in the way that is expected because of the narrower understanding of the terms masculinity and femininity.
  • Japanese Geisha and Gender Identity Issues The paper notes that geisha women/girls pamper male egos and thus play a role in upholding the status quo where the male gender is perceived as stronger than the female gender.
  • Sexuality and Gender Issues: One and the Same? People and media often state that sex and gender are the same issues and that a person can be identified as either male or female.
  • Gender Issues of Equality and Representation in the K-12 Education System This paper examines the gender issues of equality and representation in the K-12 education system and gives out the major findings based on the observed trends from the structured study of literature in the area.
  • Gender Issues in Eastern Religions Coontz discusses these issues from the context of economic status of the American women and their limited role in society at the time.
  • Supporting Female Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse: NGO Establishment The presence of such a model continues to transform lives and make it easier for more women to support and provide basic education to their children.
  • The Issue of Gender Inequality Reflection Unfortunately, in the opinion of many, inequality in their treatment is even more pronounced, forming a third group from such persons in addition to binary people and positioning them at the end of the list.
  • Issues of Sex and Gender in Society Today: Equal Pay Over time, laws in the form of the Equal Rights Act of 1963, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Discrimination in Hiring Act of 1967 came into being.
  • Crimes and Victimization: Gender Issues Generally, a common way to perceive the dynamic between men and women in the context of crime and deviance underestimates women’s capacity to be self-sufficient and expects to see the predator-prey relationships between the genders.
  • The Issue of Transgender in Sporting Activities Transgender women’s increased body strength and mass make it unfair for them to compete with cisgender women in the same sporting categories. The IOC sets the recommended testosterone level for transgender women to participate in […]
  • The Issue of Gender Inequality After Covid-19 To date, the role of women in society has increased many times over, both in the economic, social, and political spheres of public life.
  • American Movies: Racial and Gender Issues Peel corrects for the Obama era and takes the situation to the point of absurdity – Rose’s parents and their friends, elderly rich whites, go out of their way to show their openness. The film’s […]
  • Gender Gap Issues: Case Study This area of the analysis will draw on experiences related to the use of the transformative leadership style in promoting reform in the education sector and the role that educational leadership plays in influencing its […]
  • Gender Issues in the Law and Order Arena This is therefore an analysis of the gender issues that affect the service providers and especially of the female gender during their duty of service in the law and order arena by critically looking at […]
  • Gender Issue in Büchner’s Woyzeck One of the reasons supporting this claim is the choice and use of characters in this play. The author uses a male to be the main character in the play.
  • Gender and Racial Issues as Portrayed by P. Mcintosh and S. Farough Despite acknowledging the fact that the white males also experience some of the things that the others do, he blames society for failing to eradicate the default existence of racial and gender superiority.
  • Gender Issue in Choosing and Hiring Candidates in the Healthcare Organization The issue of gender may therefore be a good consideration in hiring candidates to fill certain vacancies in the healthcare organizations.
  • Gender Issues in International Relations So the practices and protection of human rights depend largely upon the type of political system in place and the willingness of the people to support that political system.
  • Employee Issues: Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Sexual harassment is not always sexual in nature for instance, in a case where a man assaults women based purely on the woman’s gender.
  • Women in Developing Countries: Globalization, Liberalization, and Gender Equality Owing to issues of gender, the voices of women in developing countries are never heard when it comes to the creation of trade agreements and policies or in their negotiations.
  • Women Labour: Gender Inequality Issues Sexual category or gender is an ingredient of the wider socio-cultural framework that encompasses the societal attributes and opportunities connected with individual male and female and the conduit between women and men and girls and […]
  • Issues Surrounding Gender Inequality in the Workplace The main objective of the constructionist point of view is that it is aimed at uncovering how the individuals and the groups tend to participate in the creation of their perceptions of gender and women […]
  • Institutions and Gender Discrimination Issues In addition, parents buy clothes and toys that reflect gender issues in society and this contributes to the development of gendered stereotypes.
  • Sociology Issues: Language, Culture and Gender Sociology is, understandably enough, rendered as a study of society, i.e, the analysis of the links between the members of a society, the roles and functions of these members, and the relationships between them.
  • Diversity Organizations and Gender Issues in the US A lot has changed with regard to the status of women in the United States in the recent past. In the past, GLBT people had no say in society and in other parts of the […]
  • Trans-Bathroom Debacle as a Gender Issue in Law One of the issues on the LGBT movement’s agenda is the problem of the definition of “biological sex” and the “bathroom bills”.
  • Gender Equality Issues in the Workplace Environment Hence, the gathering of information to validate the allegations is central to the resolution of the gender issue in the case study.
  • Gender Equality: Plan to Address the Issue The vice president of administration and finance should use a powerful plan to address the issues affecting the institution. To begin with, I will use a powerful plan to address the issues affecting different female […]
  • Gender Issues and Sexuality: Social Perspective and Distinction It is rather interesting to note that society today has such a well-established preconception regarding genders that when presented with alternatives to such established norms the result has been subject to confusion, disdain, at times […]
  • Pressing Issues in Femininity: Gender and Racism When speaking of the current issues in femininity, women are not reduced to their roles of housewives to the extent to which they used to be.
  • Gender and Bullying Issues in Nursing A lack of tolerance for workplace harassment and bullying is likely to lead to the deterioration of the situation and further misunderstanding and tension in an organization.
  • Race, Gender, and Sexuality Issues in Sports On balance, it is possible to note that the world of sports can be characterized by such features as white and masculine dominance.
  • Hormone Therapy: Human Sexuality and Gender Issues For as long as we have reasons to suspect the opposite, I suggest prior evaluation as a necessary element of hormone therapy access.
  • Gender and Leadership Issues in Education The specified step will require the use of a different leadership strategy; particularly, the adoption of the transformative approach that will help alter the behavioral patterns of the learners should be suggested.
  • Gender Issues in the New Testament However, such attempts in the church are met with resistance and even use of the Bible verses to disapprove of women’s role in the leadership. The modern church needs to be progressive and allow women […]
  • Gender, Race and Class Issues in Education Learning process functions in a dynamic but systematic process that is greatly influenced by the main objective, sub objectives, and the environment in which learners are subjected to in the process of knowledge acquisition.
  • Racial and Gender Issues in the USA Only the events of the first half of the 20th century were able to change this image; however, it still exists, and unconsciously some people adhere to the ideas of the past.
  • Gender, Age and Racial Inequality Issues Despite a significant progress of developed European countries in that sphere, the childcare in the U.S.is considered more of a woman matter, thus a mother ends up having two jobs: first, the one where she […]
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Research Article

Twenty years of gender equality research: A scoping review based on a new semantic indicator

Contributed equally to this work with: Paola Belingheri, Filippo Chiarello, Andrea Fronzetti Colladon, Paola Rovelli

Roles Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

Affiliation Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Energia, dei Sistemi, del Territorio e delle Costruzioni, Università degli Studi di Pisa, Largo L. Lazzarino, Pisa, Italy

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

Roles Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Software, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliations Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy, Department of Management, Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland

ORCID logo

Roles Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

Affiliation Faculty of Economics and Management, Centre for Family Business Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

  • Paola Belingheri, 
  • Filippo Chiarello, 
  • Andrea Fronzetti Colladon, 
  • Paola Rovelli


  • Published: September 21, 2021
  • https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256474
  • Reader Comments

9 Nov 2021: The PLOS ONE Staff (2021) Correction: Twenty years of gender equality research: A scoping review based on a new semantic indicator. PLOS ONE 16(11): e0259930. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259930 View correction

Table 1

Gender equality is a major problem that places women at a disadvantage thereby stymieing economic growth and societal advancement. In the last two decades, extensive research has been conducted on gender related issues, studying both their antecedents and consequences. However, existing literature reviews fail to provide a comprehensive and clear picture of what has been studied so far, which could guide scholars in their future research. Our paper offers a scoping review of a large portion of the research that has been published over the last 22 years, on gender equality and related issues, with a specific focus on business and economics studies. Combining innovative methods drawn from both network analysis and text mining, we provide a synthesis of 15,465 scientific articles. We identify 27 main research topics, we measure their relevance from a semantic point of view and the relationships among them, highlighting the importance of each topic in the overall gender discourse. We find that prominent research topics mostly relate to women in the workforce–e.g., concerning compensation, role, education, decision-making and career progression. However, some of them are losing momentum, and some other research trends–for example related to female entrepreneurship, leadership and participation in the board of directors–are on the rise. Besides introducing a novel methodology to review broad literature streams, our paper offers a map of the main gender-research trends and presents the most popular and the emerging themes, as well as their intersections, outlining important avenues for future research.

Citation: Belingheri P, Chiarello F, Fronzetti Colladon A, Rovelli P (2021) Twenty years of gender equality research: A scoping review based on a new semantic indicator. PLoS ONE 16(9): e0256474. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256474

Editor: Elisa Ughetto, Politecnico di Torino, ITALY

Received: June 25, 2021; Accepted: August 6, 2021; Published: September 21, 2021

Copyright: © 2021 Belingheri et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its supporting information files. The only exception is the text of the abstracts (over 15,000) that we have downloaded from Scopus. These abstracts can be retrieved from Scopus, but we do not have permission to redistribute them.

Funding: P.B and F.C.: Grant of the Department of Energy, Systems, Territory and Construction of the University of Pisa (DESTEC) for the project “Measuring Gender Bias with Semantic Analysis: The Development of an Assessment Tool and its Application in the European Space Industry. P.B., F.C., A.F.C., P.R.: Grant of the Italian Association of Management Engineering (AiIG), “Misure di sostegno ai soci giovani AiIG” 2020, for the project “Gender Equality Through Data Intelligence (GEDI)”. F.C.: EU project ASSETs+ Project (Alliance for Strategic Skills addressing Emerging Technologies in Defence) EAC/A03/2018 - Erasmus+ programme, Sector Skills Alliances, Lot 3: Sector Skills Alliance for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills G.A. NUMBER: 612678-EPP-1-2019-1-IT-EPPKA2-SSA-B.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


The persistent gender inequalities that currently exist across the developed and developing world are receiving increasing attention from economists, policymakers, and the general public [e.g., 1 – 3 ]. Economic studies have indicated that women’s education and entry into the workforce contributes to social and economic well-being [e.g., 4 , 5 ], while their exclusion from the labor market and from managerial positions has an impact on overall labor productivity and income per capita [ 6 , 7 ]. The United Nations selected gender equality, with an emphasis on female education, as part of the Millennium Development Goals [ 8 ], and gender equality at-large as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030 [ 9 ]. These latter objectives involve not only developing nations, but rather all countries, to achieve economic, social and environmental well-being.

As is the case with many SDGs, gender equality is still far from being achieved and persists across education, access to opportunities, or presence in decision-making positions [ 7 , 10 , 11 ]. As we enter the last decade for the SDGs’ implementation, and while we are battling a global health pandemic, effective and efficient action becomes paramount to reach this ambitious goal.

Scholars have dedicated a massive effort towards understanding gender equality, its determinants, its consequences for women and society, and the appropriate actions and policies to advance women’s equality. Many topics have been covered, ranging from women’s education and human capital [ 12 , 13 ] and their role in society [e.g., 14 , 15 ], to their appointment in firms’ top ranked positions [e.g., 16 , 17 ] and performance implications [e.g., 18 , 19 ]. Despite some attempts, extant literature reviews provide a narrow view on these issues, restricted to specific topics–e.g., female students’ presence in STEM fields [ 20 ], educational gender inequality [ 5 ], the gender pay gap [ 21 ], the glass ceiling effect [ 22 ], leadership [ 23 ], entrepreneurship [ 24 ], women’s presence on the board of directors [ 25 , 26 ], diversity management [ 27 ], gender stereotypes in advertisement [ 28 ], or specific professions [ 29 ]. A comprehensive view on gender-related research, taking stock of key findings and under-studied topics is thus lacking.

Extant literature has also highlighted that gender issues, and their economic and social ramifications, are complex topics that involve a large number of possible antecedents and outcomes [ 7 ]. Indeed, gender equality actions are most effective when implemented in unison with other SDGs (e.g., with SDG 8, see [ 30 ]) in a synergetic perspective [ 10 ]. Many bodies of literature (e.g., business, economics, development studies, sociology and psychology) approach the problem of achieving gender equality from different perspectives–often addressing specific and narrow aspects. This sometimes leads to a lack of clarity about how different issues, circumstances, and solutions may be related in precipitating or mitigating gender inequality or its effects. As the number of papers grows at an increasing pace, this issue is exacerbated and there is a need to step back and survey the body of gender equality literature as a whole. There is also a need to examine synergies between different topics and approaches, as well as gaps in our understanding of how different problems and solutions work together. Considering the important topic of women’s economic and social empowerment, this paper aims to fill this gap by answering the following research question: what are the most relevant findings in the literature on gender equality and how do they relate to each other ?

To do so, we conduct a scoping review [ 31 ], providing a synthesis of 15,465 articles dealing with gender equity related issues published in the last twenty-two years, covering both the periods of the MDGs and the SDGs (i.e., 2000 to mid 2021) in all the journals indexed in the Academic Journal Guide’s 2018 ranking of business and economics journals. Given the huge amount of research conducted on the topic, we adopt an innovative methodology, which relies on social network analysis and text mining. These techniques are increasingly adopted when surveying large bodies of text. Recently, they were applied to perform analysis of online gender communication differences [ 32 ] and gender behaviors in online technology communities [ 33 ], to identify and classify sexual harassment instances in academia [ 34 ], and to evaluate the gender inclusivity of disaster management policies [ 35 ].

Applied to the title, abstracts and keywords of the articles in our sample, this methodology allows us to identify a set of 27 recurrent topics within which we automatically classify the papers. Introducing additional novelty, by means of the Semantic Brand Score (SBS) indicator [ 36 ] and the SBS BI app [ 37 ], we assess the importance of each topic in the overall gender equality discourse and its relationships with the other topics, as well as trends over time, with a more accurate description than that offered by traditional literature reviews relying solely on the number of papers presented in each topic.

This methodology, applied to gender equality research spanning the past twenty-two years, enables two key contributions. First, we extract the main message that each document is conveying and how this is connected to other themes in literature, providing a rich picture of the topics that are at the center of the discourse, as well as of the emerging topics. Second, by examining the semantic relationship between topics and how tightly their discourses are linked, we can identify the key relationships and connections between different topics. This semi-automatic methodology is also highly reproducible with minimum effort.

This literature review is organized as follows. In the next section, we present how we selected relevant papers and how we analyzed them through text mining and social network analysis. We then illustrate the importance of 27 selected research topics, measured by means of the SBS indicator. In the results section, we present an overview of the literature based on the SBS results–followed by an in-depth narrative analysis of the top 10 topics (i.e., those with the highest SBS) and their connections. Subsequently, we highlight a series of under-studied connections between the topics where there is potential for future research. Through this analysis, we build a map of the main gender-research trends in the last twenty-two years–presenting the most popular themes. We conclude by highlighting key areas on which research should focused in the future.

Our aim is to map a broad topic, gender equality research, that has been approached through a host of different angles and through different disciplines. Scoping reviews are the most appropriate as they provide the freedom to map different themes and identify literature gaps, thereby guiding the recommendation of new research agendas [ 38 ].

Several practical approaches have been proposed to identify and assess the underlying topics of a specific field using big data [ 39 – 41 ], but many of them fail without proper paper retrieval and text preprocessing. This is specifically true for a research field such as the gender-related one, which comprises the work of scholars from different backgrounds. In this section, we illustrate a novel approach for the analysis of scientific (gender-related) papers that relies on methods and tools of social network analysis and text mining. Our procedure has four main steps: (1) data collection, (2) text preprocessing, (3) keywords extraction and classification, and (4) evaluation of semantic importance and image.

Data collection

In this study, we analyze 22 years of literature on gender-related research. Following established practice for scoping reviews [ 42 ], our data collection consisted of two main steps, which we summarize here below.

Firstly, we retrieved from the Scopus database all the articles written in English that contained the term “gender” in their title, abstract or keywords and were published in a journal listed in the Academic Journal Guide 2018 ranking of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) ( https://charteredabs.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AJG2018-Methodology.pdf ), considering the time period from Jan 2000 to May 2021. We used this information considering that abstracts, titles and keywords represent the most informative part of a paper, while using the full-text would increase the signal-to-noise ratio for information extraction. Indeed, these textual elements already demonstrated to be reliable sources of information for the task of domain lexicon extraction [ 43 , 44 ]. We chose Scopus as source of literature because of its popularity, its update rate, and because it offers an API to ease the querying process. Indeed, while it does not allow to retrieve the full text of scientific articles, the Scopus API offers access to titles, abstracts, citation information and metadata for all its indexed scholarly journals. Moreover, we decided to focus on the journals listed in the AJG 2018 ranking because we were interested in reviewing business and economics related gender studies only. The AJG is indeed widely used by universities and business schools as a reference point for journal and research rigor and quality. This first step, executed in June 2021, returned more than 55,000 papers.

In the second step–because a look at the papers showed very sparse results, many of which were not in line with the topic of this literature review (e.g., papers dealing with health care or medical issues, where the word gender indicates the gender of the patients)–we applied further inclusion criteria to make the sample more focused on the topic of this literature review (i.e., women’s gender equality issues). Specifically, we only retained those papers mentioning, in their title and/or abstract, both gender-related keywords (e.g., daughter, female, mother) and keywords referring to bias and equality issues (e.g., equality, bias, diversity, inclusion). After text pre-processing (see next section), keywords were first identified from a frequency-weighted list of words found in the titles, abstracts and keywords in the initial list of papers, extracted through text mining (following the same approach as [ 43 ]). They were selected by two of the co-authors independently, following respectively a bottom up and a top-down approach. The bottom-up approach consisted of examining the words found in the frequency-weighted list and classifying those related to gender and equality. The top-down approach consisted in searching in the word list for notable gender and equality-related words. Table 1 reports the sets of keywords we considered, together with some examples of words that were used to search for their presence in the dataset (a full list is provided in the S1 Text ). At end of this second step, we obtained a final sample of 15,465 relevant papers.


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Text processing and keyword extraction

Text preprocessing aims at structuring text into a form that can be analyzed by statistical models. In the present section, we describe the preprocessing steps we applied to paper titles and abstracts, which, as explained below, partially follow a standard text preprocessing pipeline [ 45 ]. These activities have been performed using the R package udpipe [ 46 ].

The first step is n-gram extraction (i.e., a sequence of words from a given text sample) to identify which n-grams are important in the analysis, since domain-specific lexicons are often composed by bi-grams and tri-grams [ 47 ]. Multi-word extraction is usually implemented with statistics and linguistic rules, thus using the statistical properties of n-grams or machine learning approaches [ 48 ]. However, for the present paper, we used Scopus metadata in order to have a more effective and efficient n-grams collection approach [ 49 ]. We used the keywords of each paper in order to tag n-grams with their associated keywords automatically. Using this greedy approach, it was possible to collect all the keywords listed by the authors of the papers. From this list, we extracted only keywords composed by two, three and four words, we removed all the acronyms and rare keywords (i.e., appearing in less than 1% of papers), and we clustered keywords showing a high orthographic similarity–measured using a Levenshtein distance [ 50 ] lower than 2, considering these groups of keywords as representing same concepts, but expressed with different spelling. After tagging the n-grams in the abstracts, we followed a common data preparation pipeline that consists of the following steps: (i) tokenization, that splits the text into tokens (i.e., single words and previously tagged multi-words); (ii) removal of stop-words (i.e. those words that add little meaning to the text, usually being very common and short functional words–such as “and”, “or”, or “of”); (iii) parts-of-speech tagging, that is providing information concerning the morphological role of a word and its morphosyntactic context (e.g., if the token is a determiner, the next token is a noun or an adjective with very high confidence, [ 51 ]); and (iv) lemmatization, which consists in substituting each word with its dictionary form (or lemma). The output of the latter step allows grouping together the inflected forms of a word. For example, the verbs “am”, “are”, and “is” have the shared lemma “be”, or the nouns “cat” and “cats” both share the lemma “cat”. We preferred lemmatization over stemming [ 52 ] in order to obtain more interpretable results.

In addition, we identified a further set of keywords (with respect to those listed in the “keywords” field) by applying a series of automatic words unification and removal steps, as suggested in past research [ 53 , 54 ]. We removed: sparse terms (i.e., occurring in less than 0.1% of all documents), common terms (i.e., occurring in more than 10% of all documents) and retained only nouns and adjectives. It is relevant to notice that no document was lost due to these steps. We then used the TF-IDF function [ 55 ] to produce a new list of keywords. We additionally tested other approaches for the identification and clustering of keywords–such as TextRank [ 56 ] or Latent Dirichlet Allocation [ 57 ]–without obtaining more informative results.

Classification of research topics

To guide the literature analysis, two experts met regularly to examine the sample of collected papers and to identify the main topics and trends in gender research. Initially, they conducted brainstorming sessions on the topics they expected to find, due to their knowledge of the literature. This led to an initial list of topics. Subsequently, the experts worked independently, also supported by the keywords in paper titles and abstracts extracted with the procedure described above.

Considering all this information, each expert identified and clustered relevant keywords into topics. At the end of the process, the two assignments were compared and exhibited a 92% agreement. Another meeting was held to discuss discordant cases and reach a consensus. This resulted in a list of 27 topics, briefly introduced in Table 2 and subsequently detailed in the following sections.



Evaluation of semantic importance

Working on the lemmatized corpus of the 15,465 papers included in our sample, we proceeded with the evaluation of semantic importance trends for each topic and with the analysis of their connections and prevalent textual associations. To this aim, we used the Semantic Brand Score indicator [ 36 ], calculated through the SBS BI webapp [ 37 ] that also produced a brand image report for each topic. For this study we relied on the computing resources of the ENEA/CRESCO infrastructure [ 58 ].

The Semantic Brand Score (SBS) is a measure of semantic importance that combines methods of social network analysis and text mining. It is usually applied for the analysis of (big) textual data to evaluate the importance of one or more brands, names, words, or sets of keywords [ 36 ]. Indeed, the concept of “brand” is intended in a flexible way and goes beyond products or commercial brands. In this study, we evaluate the SBS time-trends of the keywords defining the research topics discussed in the previous section. Semantic importance comprises the three dimensions of topic prevalence, diversity and connectivity. Prevalence measures how frequently a research topic is used in the discourse. The more a topic is mentioned by scientific articles, the more the research community will be aware of it, with possible increase of future studies; this construct is partly related to that of brand awareness [ 59 ]. This effect is even stronger, considering that we are analyzing the title, abstract and keywords of the papers, i.e. the parts that have the highest visibility. A very important characteristic of the SBS is that it considers the relationships among words in a text. Topic importance is not just a matter of how frequently a topic is mentioned, but also of the associations a topic has in the text. Specifically, texts are transformed into networks of co-occurring words, and relationships are studied through social network analysis [ 60 ]. This step is necessary to calculate the other two dimensions of our semantic importance indicator. Accordingly, a social network of words is generated for each time period considered in the analysis–i.e., a graph made of n nodes (words) and E edges weighted by co-occurrence frequency, with W being the set of edge weights. The keywords representing each topic were clustered into single nodes.

The construct of diversity relates to that of brand image [ 59 ], in the sense that it considers the richness and distinctiveness of textual (topic) associations. Considering the above-mentioned networks, we calculated diversity using the distinctiveness centrality metric–as in the formula presented by Fronzetti Colladon and Naldi [ 61 ].

Lastly, connectivity was measured as the weighted betweenness centrality [ 62 , 63 ] of each research topic node. We used the formula presented by Wasserman and Faust [ 60 ]. The dimension of connectivity represents the “brokerage power” of each research topic–i.e., how much it can serve as a bridge to connect other terms (and ultimately topics) in the discourse [ 36 ].

The SBS is the final composite indicator obtained by summing the standardized scores of prevalence, diversity and connectivity. Standardization was carried out considering all the words in the corpus, for each specific timeframe.

This methodology, applied to a large and heterogeneous body of text, enables to automatically identify two important sets of information that add value to the literature review. Firstly, the relevance of each topic in literature is measured through a composite indicator of semantic importance, rather than simply looking at word frequencies. This provides a much richer picture of the topics that are at the center of the discourse, as well as of the topics that are emerging in the literature. Secondly, it enables to examine the extent of the semantic relationship between topics, looking at how tightly their discourses are linked. In a field such as gender equality, where many topics are closely linked to each other and present overlaps in issues and solutions, this methodology offers a novel perspective with respect to traditional literature reviews. In addition, it ensures reproducibility over time and the possibility to semi-automatically update the analysis, as new papers become available.

Overview of main topics

In terms of descriptive textual statistics, our corpus is made of 15,465 text documents, consisting of a total of 2,685,893 lemmatized tokens (words) and 32,279 types. As a result, the type-token ratio is 1.2%. The number of hapaxes is 12,141, with a hapax-token ratio of 37.61%.

Fig 1 shows the list of 27 topics by decreasing SBS. The most researched topic is compensation , exceeding all others in prevalence, diversity, and connectivity. This means it is not only mentioned more often than other topics, but it is also connected to a greater number of other topics and is central to the discourse on gender equality. The next four topics are, in order of SBS, role , education , decision-making , and career progression . These topics, except for education , all concern women in the workforce. Between these first five topics and the following ones there is a clear drop in SBS scores. In particular, the topics that follow have a lower connectivity than the first five. They are hiring , performance , behavior , organization , and human capital . Again, except for behavior and human capital , the other three topics are purely related to women in the workforce. After another drop-off, the following topics deal prevalently with women in society. This trend highlights that research on gender in business journals has so far mainly paid attention to the conditions that women experience in business contexts, while also devoting some attention to women in society.



Fig 2 shows the SBS time series of the top 10 topics. While there has been a general increase in the number of Scopus-indexed publications in the last decade, we notice that some SBS trends remain steady, or even decrease. In particular, we observe that the main topic of the last twenty-two years, compensation , is losing momentum. Since 2016, it has been surpassed by decision-making , education and role , which may indicate that literature is increasingly attempting to identify root causes of compensation inequalities. Moreover, in the last two years, the topics of hiring , performance , and organization are experiencing the largest importance increase.



Fig 3 shows the SBS time trends of the remaining 17 topics (i.e., those not in the top 10). As we can see from the graph, there are some that maintain a steady trend–such as reputation , management , networks and governance , which also seem to have little importance. More relevant topics with average stationary trends (except for the last two years) are culture , family , and parenting . The feminine topic is among the most important here, and one of those that exhibit the larger variations over time (similarly to leadership ). On the other hand, the are some topics that, even if not among the most important, show increasing SBS trends; therefore, they could be considered as emerging topics and could become popular in the near future. These are entrepreneurship , leadership , board of directors , and sustainability . These emerging topics are also interesting to anticipate future trends in gender equality research that are conducive to overall equality in society.



In addition to the SBS score of the different topics, the network of terms they are associated to enables to gauge the extent to which their images (textual associations) overlap or differ ( Fig 4 ).



There is a central cluster of topics with high similarity, which are all connected with women in the workforce. The cluster includes topics such as organization , decision-making , performance , hiring , human capital , education and compensation . In addition, the topic of well-being is found within this cluster, suggesting that women’s equality in the workforce is associated to well-being considerations. The emerging topics of entrepreneurship and leadership are also closely connected with each other, possibly implying that leadership is a much-researched quality in female entrepreneurship. Topics that are relatively more distant include personality , politics , feminine , empowerment , management , board of directors , reputation , governance , parenting , masculine and network .

The following sections describe the top 10 topics and their main associations in literature (see Table 3 ), while providing a brief overview of the emerging topics.




The topic of compensation is related to the topics of role , hiring , education and career progression , however, also sees a very high association with the words gap and inequality . Indeed, a well-known debate in degrowth economics centers around whether and how to adequately compensate women for their childbearing, childrearing, caregiver and household work [e.g., 30 ].

Even in paid work, women continue being offered lower compensations than their male counterparts who have the same job or cover the same role [ 64 – 67 ]. This severe inequality has been widely studied by scholars over the last twenty-two years. Dealing with this topic, some specific roles have been addressed. Specifically, research highlighted differences in compensation between female and male CEOs [e.g., 68 ], top executives [e.g., 69 ], and boards’ directors [e.g., 70 ]. Scholars investigated the determinants of these gaps, such as the gender composition of the board [e.g., 71 – 73 ] or women’s individual characteristics [e.g., 71 , 74 ].

Among these individual characteristics, education plays a relevant role [ 75 ]. Education is indeed presented as the solution for women, not only to achieve top executive roles, but also to reduce wage inequality [e.g., 76 , 77 ]. Past research has highlighted education influences on gender wage gaps, specifically referring to gender differences in skills [e.g., 78 ], college majors [e.g., 79 ], and college selectivity [e.g., 80 ].

Finally, the wage gap issue is strictly interrelated with hiring –e.g., looking at whether being a mother affects hiring and compensation [e.g., 65 , 81 ] or relating compensation to unemployment [e.g., 82 ]–and career progression –for instance looking at meritocracy [ 83 , 84 ] or the characteristics of the boss for whom women work [e.g., 85 ].

The roles covered by women have been deeply investigated. Scholars have focused on the role of women in their families and the society as a whole [e.g., 14 , 15 ], and, more widely, in business contexts [e.g., 18 , 81 ]. Indeed, despite still lagging behind their male counterparts [e.g., 86 , 87 ], in the last decade there has been an increase in top ranked positions achieved by women [e.g., 88 , 89 ]. Following this phenomenon, scholars have posed greater attention towards the presence of women in the board of directors [e.g., 16 , 18 , 90 , 91 ], given the increasing pressure to appoint female directors that firms, especially listed ones, have experienced. Other scholars have focused on the presence of women covering the role of CEO [e.g., 17 , 92 ] or being part of the top management team [e.g., 93 ]. Irrespectively of the level of analysis, all these studies tried to uncover the antecedents of women’s presence among top managers [e.g., 92 , 94 ] and the consequences of having a them involved in the firm’s decision-making –e.g., on performance [e.g., 19 , 95 , 96 ], risk [e.g., 97 , 98 ], and corporate social responsibility [e.g., 99 , 100 ].

Besides studying the difficulties and discriminations faced by women in getting a job [ 81 , 101 ], and, more specifically in the hiring , appointment, or career progression to these apical roles [e.g., 70 , 83 ], the majority of research of women’s roles dealt with compensation issues. Specifically, scholars highlight the pay-gap that still exists between women and men, both in general [e.g., 64 , 65 ], as well as referring to boards’ directors [e.g., 70 , 102 ], CEOs and executives [e.g., 69 , 103 , 104 ].

Finally, other scholars focused on the behavior of women when dealing with business. In this sense, particular attention has been paid to leadership and entrepreneurial behaviors. The former quite overlaps with dealing with the roles mentioned above, but also includes aspects such as leaders being stereotyped as masculine [e.g., 105 ], the need for greater exposure to female leaders to reduce biases [e.g., 106 ], or female leaders acting as queen bees [e.g., 107 ]. Regarding entrepreneurship , scholars mainly investigated women’s entrepreneurial entry [e.g., 108 , 109 ], differences between female and male entrepreneurs in the evaluations and funding received from investors [e.g., 110 , 111 ], and their performance gap [e.g., 112 , 113 ].

Education has long been recognized as key to social advancement and economic stability [ 114 ], for job progression and also a barrier to gender equality, especially in STEM-related fields. Research on education and gender equality is mostly linked with the topics of compensation , human capital , career progression , hiring , parenting and decision-making .

Education contributes to a higher human capital [ 115 ] and constitutes an investment on the part of women towards their future. In this context, literature points to the gender gap in educational attainment, and the consequences for women from a social, economic, personal and professional standpoint. Women are found to have less access to formal education and information, especially in emerging countries, which in turn may cause them to lose social and economic opportunities [e.g., 12 , 116 – 119 ]. Education in local and rural communities is also paramount to communicate the benefits of female empowerment , contributing to overall societal well-being [e.g., 120 ].

Once women access education, the image they have of the world and their place in society (i.e., habitus) affects their education performance [ 13 ] and is passed on to their children. These situations reinforce gender stereotypes, which become self-fulfilling prophecies that may negatively affect female students’ performance by lowering their confidence and heightening their anxiety [ 121 , 122 ]. Besides formal education, also the information that women are exposed to on a daily basis contributes to their human capital . Digital inequalities, for instance, stems from men spending more time online and acquiring higher digital skills than women [ 123 ].

Education is also a factor that should boost employability of candidates and thus hiring , career progression and compensation , however the relationship between these factors is not straightforward [ 115 ]. First, educational choices ( decision-making ) are influenced by variables such as self-efficacy and the presence of barriers, irrespectively of the career opportunities they offer, especially in STEM [ 124 ]. This brings additional difficulties to women’s enrollment and persistence in scientific and technical fields of study due to stereotypes and biases [ 125 , 126 ]. Moreover, access to education does not automatically translate into job opportunities for women and minority groups [ 127 , 128 ] or into female access to managerial positions [ 129 ].

Finally, parenting is reported as an antecedent of education [e.g., 130 ], with much of the literature focusing on the role of parents’ education on the opportunities afforded to children to enroll in education [ 131 – 134 ] and the role of parenting in their offspring’s perception of study fields and attitudes towards learning [ 135 – 138 ]. Parental education is also a predictor of the other related topics, namely human capital and compensation [ 139 ].


This literature mainly points to the fact that women are thought to make decisions differently than men. Women have indeed different priorities, such as they care more about people’s well-being, working with people or helping others, rather than maximizing their personal (or their firm’s) gain [ 140 ]. In other words, women typically present more communal than agentic behaviors, which are instead more frequent among men [ 141 ]. These different attitude, behavior and preferences in turn affect the decisions they make [e.g., 142 ] and the decision-making of the firm in which they work [e.g., 143 ].

At the individual level, gender affects, for instance, career aspirations [e.g., 144 ] and choices [e.g., 142 , 145 ], or the decision of creating a venture [e.g., 108 , 109 , 146 ]. Moreover, in everyday life, women and men make different decisions regarding partners [e.g., 147 ], childcare [e.g., 148 ], education [e.g., 149 ], attention to the environment [e.g., 150 ] and politics [e.g., 151 ].

At the firm level, scholars highlighted, for example, how the presence of women in the board affects corporate decisions [e.g., 152 , 153 ], that female CEOs are more conservative in accounting decisions [e.g., 154 ], or that female CFOs tend to make more conservative decisions regarding the firm’s financial reporting [e.g., 155 ]. Nevertheless, firm level research also investigated decisions that, influenced by gender bias, affect women, such as those pertaining hiring [e.g., 156 , 157 ], compensation [e.g., 73 , 158 ], or the empowerment of women once appointed [ 159 ].

Career progression.

Once women have entered the workforce, the key aspect to achieve gender equality becomes career progression , including efforts toward overcoming the glass ceiling. Indeed, according to the SBS analysis, career progression is highly related to words such as work, social issues and equality. The topic with which it has the highest semantic overlap is role , followed by decision-making , hiring , education , compensation , leadership , human capital , and family .

Career progression implies an advancement in the hierarchical ladder of the firm, assigning managerial roles to women. Coherently, much of the literature has focused on identifying rationales for a greater female participation in the top management team and board of directors [e.g., 95 ] as well as the best criteria to ensure that the decision-makers promote the most valuable employees irrespectively of their individual characteristics, such as gender [e.g., 84 ]. The link between career progression , role and compensation is often provided in practice by performance appraisal exercises, frequently rooted in a culture of meritocracy that guides bonuses, salary increases and promotions. However, performance appraisals can actually mask gender-biased decisions where women are held to higher standards than their male colleagues [e.g., 83 , 84 , 95 , 160 , 161 ]. Women often have less opportunities to gain leadership experience and are less visible than their male colleagues, which constitute barriers to career advancement [e.g., 162 ]. Therefore, transparency and accountability, together with procedures that discourage discretionary choices, are paramount to achieve a fair career progression [e.g., 84 ], together with the relaxation of strict job boundaries in favor of cross-functional and self-directed tasks [e.g., 163 ].

In addition, a series of stereotypes about the type of leadership characteristics that are required for top management positions, which fit better with typical male and agentic attributes, are another key barrier to career advancement for women [e.g., 92 , 160 ].

Hiring is the entrance gateway for women into the workforce. Therefore, it is related to other workforce topics such as compensation , role , career progression , decision-making , human capital , performance , organization and education .

A first stream of literature focuses on the process leading up to candidates’ job applications, demonstrating that bias exists before positions are even opened, and it is perpetuated both by men and women through networking and gatekeeping practices [e.g., 164 , 165 ].

The hiring process itself is also subject to biases [ 166 ], for example gender-congruity bias that leads to men being preferred candidates in male-dominated sectors [e.g., 167 ], women being hired in positions with higher risk of failure [e.g., 168 ] and limited transparency and accountability afforded by written processes and procedures [e.g., 164 ] that all contribute to ascriptive inequality. In addition, providing incentives for evaluators to hire women may actually work to this end; however, this is not the case when supporting female candidates endangers higher-ranking male ones [ 169 ].

Another interesting perspective, instead, looks at top management teams’ composition and the effects on hiring practices, indicating that firms with more women in top management are less likely to lay off staff [e.g., 152 ].


Several scholars posed their attention towards women’s performance, its consequences [e.g., 170 , 171 ] and the implications of having women in decision-making positions [e.g., 18 , 19 ].

At the individual level, research focused on differences in educational and academic performance between women and men, especially referring to the gender gap in STEM fields [e.g., 171 ]. The presence of stereotype threats–that is the expectation that the members of a social group (e.g., women) “must deal with the possibility of being judged or treated stereotypically, or of doing something that would confirm the stereotype” [ 172 ]–affects women’s interested in STEM [e.g., 173 ], as well as their cognitive ability tests, penalizing them [e.g., 174 ]. A stronger gender identification enhances this gap [e.g., 175 ], whereas mentoring and role models can be used as solutions to this problem [e.g., 121 ]. Despite the negative effect of stereotype threats on girls’ performance [ 176 ], female and male students perform equally in mathematics and related subjects [e.g., 177 ]. Moreover, while individuals’ performance at school and university generally affects their achievements and the field in which they end up working, evidence reveals that performance in math or other scientific subjects does not explain why fewer women enter STEM working fields; rather this gap depends on other aspects, such as culture, past working experiences, or self-efficacy [e.g., 170 ]. Finally, scholars have highlighted the penalization that women face for their positive performance, for instance when they succeed in traditionally male areas [e.g., 178 ]. This penalization is explained by the violation of gender-stereotypic prescriptions [e.g., 179 , 180 ], that is having women well performing in agentic areas, which are typical associated to men. Performance penalization can thus be overcome by clearly conveying communal characteristics and behaviors [ 178 ].

Evidence has been provided on how the involvement of women in boards of directors and decision-making positions affects firms’ performance. Nevertheless, results are mixed, with some studies showing positive effects on financial [ 19 , 181 , 182 ] and corporate social performance [ 99 , 182 , 183 ]. Other studies maintain a negative association [e.g., 18 ], and other again mixed [e.g., 184 ] or non-significant association [e.g., 185 ]. Also with respect to the presence of a female CEO, mixed results emerged so far, with some researches demonstrating a positive effect on firm’s performance [e.g., 96 , 186 ], while other obtaining only a limited evidence of this relationship [e.g., 103 ] or a negative one [e.g., 187 ].

Finally, some studies have investigated whether and how women’s performance affects their hiring [e.g., 101 ] and career progression [e.g., 83 , 160 ]. For instance, academic performance leads to different returns in hiring for women and men. Specifically, high-achieving men are called back significantly more often than high-achieving women, which are penalized when they have a major in mathematics; this result depends on employers’ gendered standards for applicants [e.g., 101 ]. Once appointed, performance ratings are more strongly related to promotions for women than men, and promoted women typically show higher past performance ratings than those of promoted men. This suggesting that women are subject to stricter standards for promotion [e.g., 160 ].

Behavioral aspects related to gender follow two main streams of literature. The first examines female personality and behavior in the workplace, and their alignment with cultural expectations or stereotypes [e.g., 188 ] as well as their impacts on equality. There is a common bias that depicts women as less agentic than males. Certain characteristics, such as those more congruent with male behaviors–e.g., self-promotion [e.g., 189 ], negotiation skills [e.g., 190 ] and general agentic behavior [e.g., 191 ]–, are less accepted in women. However, characteristics such as individualism in women have been found to promote greater gender equality in society [ 192 ]. In addition, behaviors such as display of emotions [e.g., 193 ], which are stereotypically female, work against women’s acceptance in the workplace, requiring women to carefully moderate their behavior to avoid exclusion. A counter-intuitive result is that women and minorities, which are more marginalized in the workplace, tend to be better problem-solvers in innovation competitions due to their different knowledge bases [ 194 ].

The other side of the coin is examined in a parallel literature stream on behavior towards women in the workplace. As a result of biases, prejudices and stereotypes, women may experience adverse behavior from their colleagues, such as incivility and harassment, which undermine their well-being [e.g., 195 , 196 ]. Biases that go beyond gender, such as for overweight people, are also more strongly applied to women [ 197 ].


The role of women and gender bias in organizations has been studied from different perspectives, which mirror those presented in detail in the following sections. Specifically, most research highlighted the stereotypical view of leaders [e.g., 105 ] and the roles played by women within firms, for instance referring to presence in the board of directors [e.g., 18 , 90 , 91 ], appointment as CEOs [e.g., 16 ], or top executives [e.g., 93 ].

Scholars have investigated antecedents and consequences of the presence of women in these apical roles. On the one side they looked at hiring and career progression [e.g., 83 , 92 , 160 , 168 , 198 ], finding women typically disadvantaged with respect to their male counterparts. On the other side, they studied women’s leadership styles and influence on the firm’s decision-making [e.g., 152 , 154 , 155 , 199 ], with implications for performance [e.g., 18 , 19 , 96 ].

Human capital.

Human capital is a transverse topic that touches upon many different aspects of female gender equality. As such, it has the most associations with other topics, starting with education as mentioned above, with career-related topics such as role , decision-making , hiring , career progression , performance , compensation , leadership and organization . Another topic with which there is a close connection is behavior . In general, human capital is approached both from the education standpoint but also from the perspective of social capital.

The behavioral aspect in human capital comprises research related to gender differences for example in cultural and religious beliefs that influence women’s attitudes and perceptions towards STEM subjects [ 142 , 200 – 202 ], towards employment [ 203 ] or towards environmental issues [ 150 , 204 ]. These cultural differences also emerge in the context of globalization which may accelerate gender equality in the workforce [ 205 , 206 ]. Gender differences also appear in behaviors such as motivation [ 207 ], and in negotiation [ 190 ], and have repercussions on women’s decision-making related to their careers. The so-called gender equality paradox sees women in countries with lower gender equality more likely to pursue studies and careers in STEM fields, whereas the gap in STEM enrollment widens as countries achieve greater equality in society [ 171 ].

Career progression is modeled by literature as a choice-process where personal preferences, culture and decision-making affect the chosen path and the outcomes. Some literature highlights how women tend to self-select into different professions than men, often due to stereotypes rather than actual ability to perform in these professions [ 142 , 144 ]. These stereotypes also affect the perceptions of female performance or the amount of human capital required to equal male performance [ 110 , 193 , 208 ], particularly for mothers [ 81 ]. It is therefore often assumed that women are better suited to less visible and less leadership -oriented roles [ 209 ]. Women also express differing preferences towards work-family balance, which affect whether and how they pursue human capital gains [ 210 ], and ultimately their career progression and salary .

On the other hand, men are often unaware of gendered processes and behaviors that they carry forward in their interactions and decision-making [ 211 , 212 ]. Therefore, initiatives aimed at increasing managers’ human capital –by raising awareness of gender disparities in their organizations and engaging them in diversity promotion–are essential steps to counter gender bias and segregation [ 213 ].

Emerging topics: Leadership and entrepreneurship

Among the emerging topics, the most pervasive one is women reaching leadership positions in the workforce and in society. This is still a rare occurrence for two main types of factors, on the one hand, bias and discrimination make it harder for women to access leadership positions [e.g., 214 – 216 ], on the other hand, the competitive nature and high pressure associated with leadership positions, coupled with the lack of women currently represented, reduce women’s desire to achieve them [e.g., 209 , 217 ]. Women are more effective leaders when they have access to education, resources and a diverse environment with representation [e.g., 218 , 219 ].

One sector where there is potential for women to carve out a leadership role is entrepreneurship . Although at the start of the millennium the discourse on entrepreneurship was found to be “discriminatory, gender-biased, ethnocentrically determined and ideologically controlled” [ 220 ], an increasing body of literature is studying how to stimulate female entrepreneurship as an alternative pathway to wealth, leadership and empowerment [e.g., 221 ]. Many barriers exist for women to access entrepreneurship, including the institutional and legal environment, social and cultural factors, access to knowledge and resources, and individual behavior [e.g., 222 , 223 ]. Education has been found to raise women’s entrepreneurial intentions [e.g., 224 ], although this effect is smaller than for men [e.g., 109 ]. In addition, increasing self-efficacy and risk-taking behavior constitute important success factors [e.g., 225 ].

Finally, the topic of sustainability is worth mentioning, as it is the primary objective of the SDGs and is closely associated with societal well-being. As society grapples with the effects of climate change and increasing depletion of natural resources, a narrative has emerged on women and their greater link to the environment [ 226 ]. Studies in developed countries have found some support for women leaders’ attention to sustainability issues in firms [e.g., 227 – 229 ], and smaller resource consumption by women [ 230 ]. At the same time, women will likely be more affected by the consequences of climate change [e.g., 230 ] but often lack the decision-making power to influence local decision-making on resource management and environmental policies [e.g., 231 ].

Research gaps and conclusions

Research on gender equality has advanced rapidly in the past decades, with a steady increase in publications, both in mainstream topics related to women in education and the workforce, and in emerging topics. Through a novel approach combining methods of text mining and social network analysis, we examined a comprehensive body of literature comprising 15,465 papers published between 2000 and mid 2021 on topics related to gender equality. We identified a set of 27 topics addressed by the literature and examined their connections.

At the highest level of abstraction, it is worth noting that papers abound on the identification of issues related to gender inequalities and imbalances in the workforce and in society. Literature has thoroughly examined the (unconscious) biases, barriers, stereotypes, and discriminatory behaviors that women are facing as a result of their gender. Instead, there are much fewer papers that discuss or demonstrate effective solutions to overcome gender bias [e.g., 121 , 143 , 145 , 163 , 194 , 213 , 232 ]. This is partly due to the relative ease in studying the status quo, as opposed to studying changes in the status quo. However, we observed a shift in the more recent years towards solution seeking in this domain, which we strongly encourage future researchers to focus on. In the future, we may focus on collecting and mapping pro-active contributions to gender studies, using additional Natural Language Processing techniques, able to measure the sentiment of scientific papers [ 43 ].

All of the mainstream topics identified in our literature review are closely related, and there is a wealth of insights looking at the intersection between issues such as education and career progression or human capital and role . However, emerging topics are worthy of being furtherly explored. It would be interesting to see more work on the topic of female entrepreneurship , exploring aspects such as education , personality , governance , management and leadership . For instance, how can education support female entrepreneurship? How can self-efficacy and risk-taking behaviors be taught or enhanced? What are the differences in managerial and governance styles of female entrepreneurs? Which personality traits are associated with successful entrepreneurs? Which traits are preferred by venture capitalists and funding bodies?

The emerging topic of sustainability also deserves further attention, as our society struggles with climate change and its consequences. It would be interesting to see more research on the intersection between sustainability and entrepreneurship , looking at how female entrepreneurs are tackling sustainability issues, examining both their business models and their company governance . In addition, scholars are suggested to dig deeper into the relationship between family values and behaviors.

Moreover, it would be relevant to understand how women’s networks (social capital), or the composition and structure of social networks involving both women and men, enable them to increase their remuneration and reach top corporate positions, participate in key decision-making bodies, and have a voice in communities. Furthermore, the achievement of gender equality might significantly change firm networks and ecosystems, with important implications for their performance and survival.

Similarly, research at the nexus of (corporate) governance , career progression , compensation and female empowerment could yield useful insights–for example discussing how enterprises, institutions and countries are managed and the impact for women and other minorities. Are there specific governance structures that favor diversity and inclusion?

Lastly, we foresee an emerging stream of research pertaining how the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic challenged women, especially in the workforce, by making gender biases more evident.

For our analysis, we considered a set of 15,465 articles downloaded from the Scopus database (which is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature). As we were interested in reviewing business and economics related gender studies, we only considered those papers published in journals listed in the Academic Journal Guide (AJG) 2018 ranking of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS). All the journals listed in this ranking are also indexed by Scopus. Therefore, looking at a single database (i.e., Scopus) should not be considered a limitation of our study. However, future research could consider different databases and inclusion criteria.

With our literature review, we offer researchers a comprehensive map of major gender-related research trends over the past twenty-two years. This can serve as a lens to look to the future, contributing to the achievement of SDG5. Researchers may use our study as a starting point to identify key themes addressed in the literature. In addition, our methodological approach–based on the use of the Semantic Brand Score and its webapp–could support scholars interested in reviewing other areas of research.

Supporting information

S1 text. keywords used for paper selection..



The computing resources and the related technical support used for this work have been provided by CRESCO/ENEAGRID High Performance Computing infrastructure and its staff. CRESCO/ENEAGRID High Performance Computing infrastructure is funded by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development and by Italian and European research programmes (see http://www.cresco.enea.it/english for information).

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300 Social Issues Research Topics to Impress Your Professor and Get A

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Researching social issues holds immense importance in our quest for knowledge and progress. It allows us to delve deeper into the complexities of society, unraveling the underlying causes, impacts, and potential solutions. However, the significance of a good research topic must be considered, which sets the stage for a high-scoring and impactful research endeavor. If you have difficulty finding a good social issue research topic, check out these lists from the experts working with a professional  paper writing services  provider.

Table of Contents

Comprehensive list of Unique Social Issue Research Topics

Scroll down and go through our list of unique topics and pick one that sparks your interest. Here you go with the first one: 

Women’s Social Issues Research Topics 

It’s crucial to look into the various aspects of women’s social issues if we want to get a better understanding of gender inequality. Here are some ideas to help you dig deeper into this topic.

  • Prejudice against women in corporate culture
  • Problems of pregnant women working in the corporate
  • Harassment in educational institutes against women
  • What strategies can governments adopt to ensure equal rights for women?
  • Raising awareness of the problems of pregnant women
  • How to develop a respectful attitude towards women and gender minorities in companies?
  • Ill-treatment of women in the government sector
  • Writing on essay topics related to problems with Syrian female immigrants
  • The Role of Women in economic life and the World of Work
  • Women’s political and electoral training
  • Women in old homes: Research and Interviews for Problems and Concerns
  • Toxic Masculinity in the Workplace: what can women do?
  • Developing a workplace culture for fair treatment of every gender
  • Role of Government in solving problems related to Women
  • The economy of the United States: Income inequality in the U.S.
  • Building a world where women have equal opportunities and fair treatment
  • Essay Topics Related to Problems of Women in New York
  • Financial problems for single mothers
  • Women dealing with social issues in New Mexico
  • Condition of Mexican immigrant women in the United States
  • Women’s health: Key performance indicators, problems and obstacles
  • Securing Women’s Rights with the Help of international law
  • Education of women: The rights and responsibilities
  • Better living conditions for older women
  • A research study of the problems of pregnant women in California
  • Health and welfare of older people, especially women
  • Improving the quality of life for single mothers with better opportunities

Children’s Social Issues Research Topics 

It’s important to tackle the social issues that affect kids to create a better, more nurturing future for the next generation. Here are some interesting topics on this subject to get started with  writing your research paper . 

  • School Bullying and social networks
  • Problems and issues with children with a single parent
  • A research study on the problems of children in foster homes
  • How can we make foster care better and safer for children?
  • Delinquency trends in children among marginalized communities
  • modernity and technology at the cost of the destruction of childhood
  • Issues that children from Mexican households in America have to face
  • What are the advantages of multiculturalism in kindergarten?
  • Problems of Assault and Molestation of Children
  • Why Are Young People Committing Crimes These Days?
  • Cyberbullying and Toxicity on social media
  • Violence among children and young people
  • Rehabilitation of juvenile offenders and improving their lives
  • Illness and disability among kids living in developing countries
  • The lack of tolerance among the teenagers
  • Child labor in developing countries
  • Psychology of kindergarten education
  • School is a chance for every kid to learn tolerance and harmony
  • Children facing with lack of empathy and bullying on social media
  • The use of new technologies in education and adaptability in children
  • Problems of immigrant children
  • Child development and behavior

Social Issues Research Topics About Labor Rights

It’s essential to look into the social issues surrounding workers’ rights and fight for their well-being. Labor rights are the foundation of having fair and decent working conditions. Here are some topics if you want to research such subjects.

  • The legal responsibility of entrepreneurs
  • Workplace accident management
  • Increased flexibility via remote working options
  • Mental health problems caused by workers after the COVID pandemic
  • The principle of equality today is related to labor rights
  • Change wages or salaries
  • Labor problems caused by the Covid pandemic
  • Employees having to deal with additional work pressures
  • Role of labor unions in social justice for Laborers
  • Mental health problems in the Workplace
  • What can we do to offer ideas for improvements in labor laws
  • The desire to maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • Hate speech and domestic violence against marginalized groups in large companies
  • Academic paper for immigration disruptions in Canada and USA
  • The employer’s right to manage employees and the abuse of it
  • Role of human resources in identifying and solving problems of labor
  • The job of the government and schools is to offer their members better career prospects
  • Problems and issues related to a minimum period of employment
  • The technology skills gap leads to problems with the laborers
  • Improving the well-being of the company for its members
  • Change wages or salaries impact and consequences
  • How the global pandemic and Working from home changed the World
  • Recruiting methods from passive to active: how to prepare
  • Global labor shortages: problems and consequences
  • What are the reasons for the labor shortage?
  • Writing assignment about laborers dealing with the effects of long Covid
  • Why is it essential for companies to take a public stand for social issues
  • Mental health problems for workers in the field
  • Relevant examples of social issues related to labor and employment
  • How to empower workers against social injustice?

Social Issues Research Topics for the Environment

It’s important to dig into how social issues and the environment are connected when we’re trying to handle big problems like climate change, running out of resources, etc. Here are some  research topics  to think about.

  • Health risks associated with the general environment and their perception and representation
  • Climate change knowledge and expertise on health risks
  • Health inequalities resulting from environmental and social factors
  • What Role can environmental law play in protecting the environment at sea?
  • Deforestation and chronic pollution are destroying biodiversity
  • Importance of green energy conversion
  • The Law of the Environment and sustainable development
  • The Management of Pollution in Environmental Law
  • Toward a better understanding of atmospheric pollution
  • Utilizing environmental technologies and learning about them
  • Waste and material resources of the World
  • The destruction of ozone affects the environment and health
  • Nature’s resources are being destroyed. What can we do as researchers to prevent this?
  • Is it still imperative to preserve the environment during wartime?
  • Combating armed conflict while preserving the environment
  • The tourism industry and pollution management
  • Environmental factors that affect cancer risk
  • Cost-benefit analysis of the action based on legal or socioeconomic criteria
  • Analyzing how different environmental factors contribute to the risk
  • Investigating a variety of environmental issues and sectors
  • Regions and specific areas of environmental perception
  • The effects of climate change and global warming
  • Factors contributing to a healthy environment
  • The relationship between human rights and environmental law
  • In environmental law, pollution management is a constant
  • Worldwide implementation of sustainable development
  • How consumption trends and international news can help the environmental cause

Social Issues Research Topics Related to Covid Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how we live and has spotlighted all kinds of social issues that need to be looked into and solved. So, if you would like to research social issues related to the recent pandemic, check out this list for current social issues for research paper:

  • Social panic caused after the COVID-19 breakdown
  • Problems and social issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • COVID-19 and financial problems on the rise
  • Impact of COVID-19 on the people with middle class
  • Police Procedure and criminal justice during the COVID-19
  • The aftermath of COVID-19 has resulted in a social dilemma and economic disruption
  • An influential aspect of the pandemic is mental health
  • The Impact of social and territorial inequalities on health
  • The ethical issues raised by the pandemic
  • Writing research papers on social media’s Role during COVID-19
  • Children and adolescents’ mental condition during the pandemic
  • Problems in healthcare and Management of chronic diseases
  • Disruption in modern society by the COVID-19
  • How our social media accounts helped us during the darkest hours of covid
  • Ensuring the delivery of criminal justice during covid
  • Impact of COVID-19 on family life
  • Role of the Pandemic in the Promotion of remote education
  • Avoiding social media addiction during the quarantine

Social Issue Topics Related to American Society

Checking out the social problems in the U.S. gives us a great understanding of how complicated, varied and hard they can be for people and different communities. Here is another list of topics on social issues. 

  • Environment perception in specific areas and regions
  • Climate change and global warming effects
  • The factors that contribute to a healthy environment
  • Cancer risk factors in the environment
  • Workplace toxic masculinity: what can women do?
  • The global labor shortage: problems and consequences
  • Why does the U.S. have a shortage of labor?
  • Workers dealing with the effects of Covid
  • Problems related to mental issues among field workers
  • Law and human rights concerning the environment
  • Management of pollution is a constant concern in environmental law
  • Impacts and consequences of changes in wages or salaries
  • How to prepare for passive to active recruitment
  • The problem of child labor in developing countries
  • Kindergarten Education and Psychology
  • Tolerance and harmony can be learned in school by every child
  • Lack of empathy and bullying on social media among children
  • Technology in Education and Children’s Adaptability
  • Legal or socioeconomic cost-benefit analysis of the action
  • A major social issue in the modern age is poverty
  • Government’s Role in solving social problems
  • Sustainable Development of the World
  • Trafficking in drugs and Mexican cartels
  • A culture of fair treatment for all genders in the Workplace
  • Nature’s resources are being depleted.
  • Management of pollution in the tourism industry
  • How can we use social media to improve society and resolve social problems?
  • A lack of respect for marginalized communities in the professional environment can be seen in several ways.
  • Understanding social issues and the problems associated with them
  • Materials and waste from around the World and the Impact they have on the environment
  • The depletion of ozone is detrimental to the environment and human health
  • Insights into the political and electoral training of women
  • Taking a closer look at Women’s Problems and Concerns in old homes: Research and Interviews
  • Issues and problems related to the minimum period of employment and the minimum wage
  • The technological skills gap is causing labor shortages shortly
  • Enhancing the well-being of the members of the company as a whole

Interesting Social Injustice Topics for College Students

As college students, exploring and engaging with interesting social issues topics expands our intellectual horizons and empowers us to become agents of change in our communities and beyond. Particularly when you include social problems examples. Here is another list of interesting topics.

  • Developing better relationships with public institutions to solve problems
  • The Role of social work in the Management of health problems
  • Corporations discriminate against marginalized communities in the U.S.
  • Sociology of the popular classes
  • The reasons for the low human development index in African countries
  • Social issues caused by class differences
  • Drugs and anarchist behaviors
  • Religious Differences and biased approaches to employment strategies
  • Mexican cartels and the problem of drug trafficking
  • Poverty is one of the most significant social issues in the Modern World
  • Role of the Government in solving social issues
  • How can we use social media to improve society and solve social issues?
  • Prejudice against marginalized communities in the professional environment
  • Understanding the problems related to social issues
  • Role of problem-solving and understanding the root cause of social issues
  • Major social issues in developing countries
  • Role of Education in ending violence in Society
  • Class Differences and the Impact on the human development index
  • Differences in health facilities for different classes
  • Social Norms and the Role of the Community
  • Causes and solutions to human trafficking on the Mexican borders
  • Human development index in India
  • How to solve the poverty problem?
  • What is the problem of social media bullying, and how to avoid it?
  • How does financial illiteracy lead to a lack of development in developing countries?
  • Impact of Terrorism on Society
  • How to solve the terrorism problem?
  • Mafia problems in the USA and how to deal with them
  • Biased treatment of marginalized communities in the government sector
  • The increasing problem of drug addiction
  • Ethics and Artificial Intelligence: Emerging social issues
  • Role of social media in increasing social issues

Police and Social Justice Research Papers Topics

Let’s unveil a curated collection of current social issues for a research paper. Here’s the list:

  • Children’s safety and protection: The security job is of the utmost importance
  • School bullying is a serious issue that needs to be addressed
  • A few heartrending social issues examples 
  • Using the Internet to disseminate terrorist content: a serious issue related to Cybersecurity
  • Digital Platform Security Certification – A Guide to Cybersecurity Certifications
  • The protection of minors in alcohol-serving establishments
  • Concerns regarding cyber security in the United States
  • An analysis of the spatial pattern of terrorism in the USA over the past two decades
  • New York crime analysis, a look at the crime situation in the City
  • Security technologies face several obstacles when it comes to their implementation
  • Having the versatility to specialize and the specialization to be versatile in security matters
  • Investigative requisitions from the judicial police
  • Relationships between the police and the public: The need for improvement
  • Conflict Management and Prevention in Communities
  • The principle of secularism in sports must be respected
  • Stopping the illicit trade in tobacco products
  • Towns with small populations and cybersecurity
  • Taking care of historical monuments
  • Providing support to victims of aggression
  • An analysis of the roadside check system in developing countries
  • The challenges of reception at a police station for public security
  • A system for protecting housing from illegal encroachment
  • Anti-abuse and anti-fraud measures
  • A diversity of expectations and feedback from the inhabitants
  • Taking public security work seriously in terms of its relational dimension
  • The issue of external assistance in the area of internal security
  • Putting social networks to the test in terms of police ethics

As you have reached the conclusion paragraph of the blog post, you must have picked a topic or two to work for your social issue research paper. Most of the lists have focused on social issues today as they could be very interesting for the readers. Plus, there are a plethora of good topics for you to count on. Just remember that a good research subject must be able to answer, what is a social problem, what is a social issue, and more. Still if you are struggling with picking up a good topic, feel free to count on the expertise of  our writers .

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Research: How to Close the Gender Gap in Startup Financing

  • Malin Malmström,
  • Barbara Burkhard,
  • Charlotta Sirén,
  • Dean Shepherd,
  • Joakim Wincent

research topics on women's issues

Three ways policymakers, financiers, and other stakeholders can mitigate gender bias in entrepreneurial funding.

A global analysis of previous research over the last three decades shows that women entrepreneurs face a higher rate of business loan denials and increased interest rates in loan decisions made by commercial bankers. Interestingly, the data also reveals that the formal and informal standing of women in a particular society can provide clues to some of the true hurdles to positive change. This article reviews these hurdles, and offers three recommendations for change.

Gender disparities persist in entrepreneurship and statistics reveal the severity of the issue. Globally, only one in three businesses is owned by women . In 2019, the share of startups with at least one female founding member was a mere 20% .

  • MM Malin Malmström is a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Luleå University of Technology, and a director of the research center Sustainable Finance Lab in Sweden.
  • BB Barbara Burkhard is a postdoctoral researcher of entrepreneurship at the Institute of Responsible Innovation at the University of St.Gallen.
  • CS Charlotta Sirén is an associate professor of management at the Institute of Responsible Innovation at the University of St.Gallen.
  • DS Dean Shepherd is a professor of entrepreneurship, management, and organization at The Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame.
  • JW Joakim Wincent is a professor of entrepreneurship and management at the Hanken School of Economics and the Global Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of St.Gallen.

Partner Center

Solving women’s health issues through engineering focus of course

Michelle Oyen

Women’s health through the lifespan has been getting a new focus in recent years from the local to the federal level, with President Joe Biden recently launching initiatives to boost federally funded research in this long-overlooked area. That focus is also active in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, where a new Department of Biomedical Engineering elective course is filled with students interested in how they can use engineering to solve problems in women’s health. 

The “Engineering for Women’s Health” course (BME 4780/5780), available to undergraduate and graduate students, is taught by Michelle Oyen, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Women’s Health Engineering. Initially, Oyen offered 16 seats in the course, but demand quickly led her to increase the number of students to 48. 

The course includes lectures on women’s reproductive anatomy and physiology, guest speakers from FemTech (technology focused on women’s health) companies and startups, research scientists from the School of Medicine, case studies and panel discussions. 

“When we pull in the engineers from these startup companies, students can talk to the people who work in real jobs in the field,” Oyen said. “The FemTech sector has a lot of startups in women’s health, which is a trillion-dollar market. There are a lot of opportunities for young engineers to work in this space.” 

One class meeting recently featured Christine O’Brien, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and co-founder and chief scientific officer of Armor Medical Inc., and Kelsey Mayo, co-founder and CEO of Armor Medical. O’Brien and Mayo presented students with their investor pitch and details about how the company got started. They also shared information about their device, a wrist-worn early monitoring system for obstetric hemorrhage, severe blood loss that occurs in 5% of all births and is 90% preventable if detected and treated early. 

Mayo, who survived hemorrhage, told students the company is her “passion project” and encouraged them to find their own. 

“Your day job should be where your passion meets the world’s needs,” she said. “That’s a cool thing for biomedical engineers to consider.” 

Oyen said focusing on the FemTech sector is important for students’ education and gives them an idea of what they can do after they graduate. 

“Part of what has happened over the past decade is shining a light on the fact that there are all these issues that were once only whispered about by women and not brought out into the open,” Oyen said. “People have now realized this is really important because there are unmet needs in health care, which has huge implications. The two most common surgeries for women are a C-section and a hysterectomy. Half of women have a hysterectomy by age 65, which is huge.” 

In the course, students are completing group projects to address needs in women’s health, including menopause, osteoporosis, hip fractures and lack of muscle mass. 

Annika Avula, a dual-degree student earning a bachelor’s and a master’s in biomedical engineering, said she wanted to take this course after taking O’Brien’s course “Quantitative Physiology II” (BME 301B) last fall.

“It really opened so many people’s eyes to things that can be done for women’s health,” Avula said. “This course has introduced me to a new way of thinking. I’m more interested in problems and more called to ask questions.” 

Ella Hanson, a senior earning a bachelor’s and a master’s in biomedical engineering, said she took the course because of her interest in women’s health problems. 

“Dr. Oyen and Dr. O’Brien are addressing the huge gap in BME in the women’s health field,” Hanson said. “We are learning that there are more opportunities out there in engineering beyond orthopedics and other biomedical problems.”

Avula’s group project is looking at the effects of menopause, and Hanson’s group project is looking at endometriosis, a chronic disease that affects 11% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. and for which there is no cure. 

Oyen said that while it took her some time to get comfortable using words about women’s health in front of audiences, her students are open to talking about women’s health issues and using the vocabulary, which she finds encouraging for future generations. 

“I realized that I’m not going to be the one to change the world, but I’m going to teach the ones who will,” Oyen said. 

Originally published on the McKelvey School of Engineering website

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.

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Complications From Alcohol Use Are Rising Among Women

New research shows that alcohol-related liver disease and other health problems increased even more than expected among women ages 40 to 64 during the pandemic.

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A woman sits at an outdoor restaurant table in the evening while drinking a glass of beer.

By Dani Blum

A new study adds to a mounting body of evidence showing that rising alcohol consumption among women is leading to higher rates of death and disease. The report, published Friday in the journal JAMA Health Forum , examined insurance claims data from 2017 to 2021 on more than 14 million Americans ages 15 and older. Researchers found that during the first year and a half of the coronavirus pandemic, women ages 40 to 64 were significantly more likely than expected to experience serious complications like alcohol-related cardiovascular and liver disease, as well as severe withdrawal.

The Background

Alcohol consumption in the United States has generally increased over the last 20 years , said Dr. Timothy Naimi, the director of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria. Dr. Naimi was a co-author on a recent paper that showed deaths from excessive alcohol use in the United States rose by nearly 30 percent between 2016 and 2021.

While men still die more often from drinking-related causes than women, deaths among women are climbing at a faster rate. “The gap is narrowing,” said Dr. Bryant Shuey, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and the lead author of the new study.

The Research

The study looked at serious health issues related to drinking, including alcohol-related liver and heart disease, inflammation of the stomach lining that led to bleeding, pancreatitis, alcohol-related mood disorders and withdrawal. Researchers compared insurance claims data for these complications with the rates they expected to see based on past prevalence of these conditions.

In nearly every month from April 2020 to September 2021, women ages 40 to 64 experienced complications from alcohol-related liver disease — a range of conditions that can develop when fat begins to accumulate in the liver — at higher rates than researchers predicted. If damage from drinking continues, scar tissue builds up in the liver and leads to a later stage of the disease, called cirrhosis. Some people with alcohol-related liver disease also develop severe liver inflammation, known as alcohol-associated hepatitis.

Rates of alcohol-related complications during the pandemic were also higher than predicted among men ages 40 to 64, but those increases were not statistically significant. But “men are not out of the woods” and still face health risks, Dr. Shuey said.

The Limitations

The study examined data only up until September 2021. Katherine Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who was not involved in the latest study, said she expected that alcohol use might keep rising among women — a pattern that could contribute to even more health issues.

And since the study relied on insurance claims, Dr. Shuey said it told an incomplete story. If someone is treated in the emergency room for an inflamed pancreas but doesn’t disclose a drinking history, for example, that instance may not be registered as an alcohol-related complication.

“The truth is, we’re probably underestimating this,” he said.

The Takeaways

These findings underscore how patterns of heavy drinking can translate into serious health consequences. Over the last 10 years, a growing number of American women — and particularly women in middle age — have reported binge-drinking, Dr. Keyes said.

“It used to be that 18- to 25-year-old males were the most likely to drink or the most likely to binge,” said Aaron White, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Now, binge drinking occurs more among people between the ages of 26 to 34, and is becoming more common among women. “Everything’s just getting pushed back later,” he said.

Demographic shifts can also help explain why women are drinking at higher rates, Dr. Keyes said. Women tend to marry and have children at later ages than in previous decades, so they spend more time in what Dr. Keyes calls a “high-risk period for heavy drinking.”

“People don’t realize the real health consequences these heavy drinking patterns can have,” she added.

These consequences take time to develop and often emerge between ages 40 and 60. Complications can occur after “years of heavy, persistent alcohol use,” Dr. Shuey said.

These longer-term increases in drinking predate the pandemic and might have increased the risk of health problems among women before Covid-19 hit. But higher levels of drinking during lockdowns may have exacerbated these issues or contributed to new complications, especially as women bore the brunt of family responsibilities, Dr. White said.

Even as research mounts on the harms of alcohol, many people might struggle to change their habits, Dr. White said.

“If you’ve been drinking wine with dinner every night for the last 20 years, just seeing a headline is not going to be enough to make you throw your wine away,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a slow cultural shift.”

Dani Blum is a health reporter for The Times. More about Dani Blum

Read our research on: Gun Policy | International Conflict | Election 2024

Regions & Countries

What’s it like to be a teacher in america today, public k-12 teachers are stressed about their jobs and few are optimistic about the future of education; many say poverty, absenteeism and mental health are major problems at their school.

A teacher leads an English class at a high school in Richmond, Virginia. (Parker Michels-Boyce/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand the views and experiences of public K-12 school teachers. The analysis in this report is based on an online survey of 2,531 U.S. public K-12 teachers conducted from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14, 2023. The teachers surveyed are members of RAND’s American Teacher Panel, a nationally representative panel of public K-12 school teachers recruited through MDR Education. Survey data is weighted to state and national teacher characteristics to account for differences in sampling and response to ensure they are representative of the target population.

Here are the questions used for this report , along with responses, and the survey methodology .

Low-poverty , medium-poverty and high-poverty schools are based on the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (less than 40%, 40%-59% and 60% or more, respectively).

Secondary schools include both middle schools and high schools.

All references to party affiliation include those who lean toward that party. Republicans include those who identify as Republicans and those who say they lean toward the Republican Party. Democrats include those who identify as Democrats and those who say they lean toward the Democratic Party.

Public K-12 schools in the United States face a host of challenges these days – from teacher shortages to the lingering effects of COVID-19 learning loss to political battles over curriculum .

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than U.S. workers overall.

In the midst of all this, teachers express low levels of satisfaction with their jobs. In fact, they’re much less satisfied than U.S. workers overall.

Here’s how public K-12 teachers are feeling about their jobs:

  • 77% say their job is frequently stressful.
  • 68% say it’s overwhelming.
  • 70% say their school is understaffed.
  • 52% say they would not advise a young person starting out today to become a teacher.

When it comes to how their students are doing in school, teachers are relatively downbeat about both academic performance and behavior.

Here’s how public K-12 teachers rate academic performance and behavior at their school:

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that about half of teachers give students at their school low marks for academic performance and behavior.

  • 48% say the academic performance of most students at their school is fair or poor. A third say it’s good, and only 17% describe it as excellent or very good.
  • 49% say the behavior of most students at their school is fair or poor; 35% say it’s good and 13% say it’s excellent or very good.

The COVID-19 pandemic likely compounded these issues. About eight-in-ten teachers (among those who have been teaching for at least a year) say the lasting impact of the pandemic on students’ behavior, academic performance and emotional well-being has been very or somewhat negative.

Assessments of student performance and behavior differ widely by school poverty level. 1 Teachers in high-poverty schools have a much more negative outlook. But feelings of stress and dissatisfaction among teachers are fairly universal, regardless of where they teach.

Related: What Public K-12 Teachers Want Americans To Know About Teaching

A bar chart showing that most teachers see parents’ involvement as insufficient.

As they navigate these challenges, teachers don’t feel they’re getting the support or reinforcement they need from parents.

Majorities of teachers say parents are doing too little when it comes to holding their children accountable if they misbehave in school, helping them with their schoolwork and ensuring their attendance.

Teachers in high- and medium-poverty schools are more likely than those in low-poverty schools to say parents are doing too little in each of these areas.

These findings are based on a survey of 2,531 U.S. public K-12 teachers conducted Oct. 17-Nov. 14, 2023, using the RAND American Teacher Panel. 2 The survey looks at the following aspects of teachers’ experiences:

  • Teachers’ job satisfaction (Chapter 1)
  • How teachers manage their workload (Chapter 2)
  • Problems students are facing at public K-12 schools (Chapter 3)
  • Challenges in the classroom (Chapter 4)
  • Teachers’ views of parent involvement (Chapter 5)
  • Teachers’ views on the state of public K-12 education (Chapter 6)

Problems students are facing

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that poverty, chronic absenteeism and mental health stand out as major problems at public K-12 schools.

We asked teachers about some of the challenges students at their school are facing. Three problems topped the list:

  • Poverty (53% say this is a major problem among students who attend their school)
  • Chronic absenteeism (49%)
  • Anxiety and depression (48%)

Chronic absenteeism (that is, students missing a substantial number of school days) is a particular challenge at high schools, with 61% of high school teachers saying this is a major problem where they teach. By comparison, 46% of middle school teachers and 43% of elementary school teachers say the same.

Anxiety and depression are viewed as a more serious problem at the secondary school level: 69% of high school teachers and 57% of middle school teachers say this is a major problem among their students, compared with 29% of elementary school teachers.

Fewer teachers (20%) view bullying as a major problem at their school, though the share is significantly higher among middle school teachers (34%).

A look inside the classroom

We also asked teachers how things are going in their classroom and specifically about some of the issues that may get in the way of teaching.

  • 47% of teachers say students showing little or no interest in learning is a major problem in their classroom. The share rises to 58% among high school teachers.
  • 33% say students being distracted by their cellphones is a major problem. This is particularly an issue for high school teachers, with 72% saying this is a major problem.
  • About one-in-five teachers say students getting up and walking around when they’re not supposed to and being disrespectful toward them (21% each) are major problems. Teachers in elementary and middle schools are more likely than those in high schools to see these as challenges.

A majority of teachers (68%) say they’ve experienced verbal abuse from a student – such as being yelled at or threatened. Some 21% say this happens at least a few times a month.

Physical violence is less common. Even so, 40% of teachers say a student has been violent toward them , with 9% saying this happens at least a few times a month.

About two-thirds of teachers (66%) say that the current discipline practices at their school are very or somewhat mild. Only 2% say the discipline practices at their school are very or somewhat harsh, while 31% say they are neither harsh nor mild. Most teachers (67%) say teachers themselves don’t have enough influence in determining discipline practices at their school.

Behavioral issues and mental health challenges

A bar chart showing that two-thirds of teachers in high-poverty schools say they have to address students’ behavioral issues daily.

In addition to their teaching duties, a majority of teachers (58%) say they have to address behavioral issues in their classroom every day. About three-in-ten teachers (28%) say they have to help students with mental health challenges daily.

In each of these areas, elementary and middle school teachers are more likely than those at the high school level to say they do these things on a daily basis.

And teachers in high-poverty schools are more likely than those in medium- and low-poverty schools to say they deal with these issues each day.

Cellphone policies and enforcement

A diverging bar chart showing that most high school teachers say cellphone policies are hard to enforce.

Most teachers (82%) say their school or district has policies regarding cellphone use in the classroom.

Of those, 56% say these policies are at least somewhat easy to enforce, 30% say they’re difficult to enforce, and 14% say they’re neither easy nor difficult to enforce.

Experiences with cellphone policies vary widely across school levels. High school teachers (60%) are much more likely than middle school (30%) and elementary school teachers (12%) to say the policies are difficult to enforce (among those who say their school or district has a cellphone policy).

How teachers are experiencing their jobs

Thinking about the various aspects of their jobs, teachers are most satisfied with their relationship with other teachers at their school (71% are extremely or very satisfied).

They’re least satisfied with how much they’re paid – only 15% are extremely or very satisfied with their pay, while 51% are not too or not at all satisfied.

Among teachers who don’t plan to retire or stop working this year, 29% say it’s at least somewhat likely they will look for a new job in the 2023-24 school year. Within that group, 40% say they would look for a job outside of education, 29% say they’d seek a non-teaching job in education, and only 18% say they’d look for a teaching job at another public K-12 school.

Do teachers find their work fulfilling and enjoyable?

Overall, 56% of teachers say they find their job to be fulfilling extremely often or often; 53% say their job is enjoyable. These are significantly lower than the shares who say their job is frequently stressful (77%) or overwhelming (68%).

Positive experiences are more common among newer teachers. Two-thirds of those who’ve been teaching less than six years say their work is fulfilling extremely often or often, and 62% of this group says their work is frequently enjoyable.

Teachers with longer tenures are somewhat less likely to feel this way. For example, 48% of those who’ve been teaching for six to 10 years say their work is frequently enjoyable.

Balancing the workload

Most teachers (84%) say there’s not enough time during their regular work hours to do tasks like grading, lesson planning, paperwork and answering work emails.

Among those who feel this way, 81% say simply having too much work is a major reason.

Many also point to having to spend time helping students outside the classroom, performing non-teaching duties like lunch duty, and covering other teachers’ classrooms as at least minor reasons they don’t have enough time to get all their work done.

A diverging bar chart showing that a majority of teachers say it’s difficult for them to achieve work-life balance.

A majority of teachers (54%) say it’s very or somewhat difficult for them to balance work and their personal life. About one-in-four (26%) say it’s very or somewhat easy for them to balance these things, and 20% say it’s neither easy nor difficult.

Among teachers, women are more likely than men to say work-life balance is difficult for them (57% vs. 43%). Women teachers are also more likely to say they often find their job stressful or overwhelming.

How teachers view the education system

A large majority of teachers (82%) say the overall state of public K-12 education has gotten worse in the past five years.

Pie charts showing that most teachers say public K-12 education has gotten worse over the past 5 years.

And very few are optimistic about the next five years: Only 20% of teachers say public K-12 education will be a lot or somewhat better five years from now. A narrow majority (53%) say it will be worse.

Among teachers who think things have gotten worse in recent years, majorities say the current political climate (60%) and the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (57%) are major reasons. A sizable share (46%) also point to changes in the availability of funding and resources.

Related:  About half of Americans say public K-12 education is going in the wrong direction

Which political party do teachers trust more to deal with educational challenges?

On balance, more teachers say they trust the Democratic Party than say they trust the Republican Party to do a better job handling key issues facing the K-12 education system. But three-in-ten or more across the following issues say they don’t trust either party:

  • Shaping school curriculum (42% say they trust neither party)
  • Ensuring teachers have adequate pay and benefits (35%)
  • Making schools safer (35%)
  • Ensuring adequate funding for schools (33%)
  • Ensuring all students have equal access to high-quality K-12 education (31%)

A majority of public K-12 teachers (58%) identify or lean toward the Democratic Party. This is higher than the share among the general public (47%).

  • Poverty levels are based on the percentage of students in the school who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. ↩
  • For details, refer to the Methodology section of the report. ↩
  • Urban, suburban and rural schools are based on the location of the school as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (rural includes town). Definitions match those used by the U.S. Census Bureau. ↩

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Table of contents, ‘back to school’ means anytime from late july to after labor day, depending on where in the u.s. you live, among many u.s. children, reading for fun has become less common, federal data shows, most european students learn english in school, for u.s. teens today, summer means more schooling and less leisure time than in the past, about one-in-six u.s. teachers work second jobs – and not just in the summer, most popular.

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NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

NIH Leaders Attend Signing of Executive Order on Women’s Health

U.S. vice president smiling in selfie with Bianchi and Rathmell at the White House

Vice President Kamala Harris (l) smiles with NICHD Director Dr. Diana Bianchi (c) and NCI Director Dr. Kimryn Rathmell.

NIH leaders attended the historic signing of an Executive Order (EO) to advance women’s health research and innovation. The directive, signed by President Joe Biden on Mar. 18, integrates and prioritizes women’s health across the federal research portfolio. 

“For far too long, scientific and biomedical research excluded women and undervalued the study of women’s health,” said Biden at the White House signing. “The resulting research gaps mean that we know far too little about women’s health across women’s lifespans, and those gaps are even more prominent for women of color, older women and women with disabilities…It is time to pioneer the next generation of discoveries in women’s health.”  

Group shot of NIH leaders at the White House

Attending the historic signing at the White House are (from l) Bianchi; NIAID Director Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo; NIAMS Director Dr. Lindsey Criswell; Rathmell; NIH Director Dr. Monica Bertagnolli; NIH Deputy Director for Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives Dr. Tara Schwetz; ORWH Director Dr. Janine Clayton; and NHLBI Director Dr. Gary Gibbons.

The EO’s directives will enable research that closes gaps to improve the health of all women. This guidance will bolster NIH-wide efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat health conditions unique to women, paving the way for better, more personalized care.

“I was honored to be a part of this historic event,” said Dr. Kimryn Rathmell, director of the National Cancer Institute, in a social media post. “Supporting research on women’s health isn’t just about equality, it’s about understanding unique health challenges, advancing treatments and empowering women to live healthier, fuller lives.”

Rathmell was one of several NIH institute directors and leaders in the Office of the Director to join NIH Director Dr. Monica Bertagnolli at the signing that was also attended by Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.

The full text of the EO can be found at https://bit.ly/3xttFLh .

The HHS secretary and NIH leaders gather around a smiling President Biden, seated at Oval Office desk, as he holds binder with signed executive order.

President Joe Biden signs an Executive Order to advance women’s health research and innovation, as supporters of the directive applaud.


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