UN gender bias report offers a simple explanation for Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren on Thursday ended her presidential run. Afterward, her supporters lamented that in a Democratic primary that boasted a record number of qualified female candidates, the contest yet again would come down to two white men.

On the same day, a new analysis from the United Nations Development Programme found 90% of people are biased against women, and about half the world feels men make better political leaders.

“If you say, ‘Yeah, there was sexism in this race,’ everyone says, ‘Whiner,” Warren told reporters after dropping out. “And if you say, ‘No, there was no sexism,’ about a bazillion women think, ‘What planet do you live on?'”

Men and women vote at similar rates, but there are only 10 female heads of government out of a possible 193, the UN analysis showed.

In 2016, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made history when the Democratic Party nominated her to be its candidate for president, the first woman to be the standard bearer for a major party. Though Trump won the Electoral College – and the election – by 74 electoral votes, Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million.

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interviewed Warren on Thursday night and told the Massachusetts senator her dropping out felt like the “death knell” to chances of having a woman president in “our” lifetimes.

Warren responded: “Oh God. Please no. That can’t be right,” adding that she has faith.

“We’ll know we can have a woman in the White House when we finally elect a woman to the White House!” she exclaimed, noting critics in the past dismissed a Catholic being elected until former President John F. Kennedy and claimed the United States would not elect a black man until former President Barack Obama. 

The UN report also found: 

  • 40% feel men make better business executives
  • 28% think it is justified for a man to beat his wife 
  • Less than 6% of CEOs in S&P 500 companies are women
  • Women work more hours than men, but it is more likely to be unpaid care work

“The work that has been so effective in ensuring an end to gaps in health or education must now evolve to address something far more challenging: a deeply ingrained bias – among both men and women – against genuine equality,” said Achim Steiner, administrator of the UN Development Programme.  

The analysis comes ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday, a global celebration of women’s achievements. The theme this year is #EachforEqual, which organizers hope will inspire people to challenge biases and question stereotypes.

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