Progress on gender equality has been significant over the past century, at least in democratic nations.
At the beginning of the 20th century only one nation allowed women to vote in national elections. That country was New Zealand.
The suffragette movement in the United Kingdom created significant internal instability until women were allowed to vote. Most countries in the world have now given women the right to vote. Notable exceptions include Saudi Arabia, and the Catholic enclave of the Holy See in Rome, where only cardinals are allowed to vote and only males can hold office in the Church.
After decades of international investment in developing countries, the one factor above all others that has been successful in stabilising and developing a nation is the education of women. Nations that make women second class citizens are not only wasting half of their potential human resources, they are also blocking the evolution of consciousness of the nation.
Chapter 24: Societal Mastery