Trends in Women’s Status Over Time: Key Findings From Revised WPS Index Estimates for 2017-2023

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Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda is strengthened by tools that track progress over time, identify where gaps persist, and hold decisionmakers accountable. First developed in 2017, the WPS Index multi-dimensionally measures women’s status in 177 countries and economies around the world. The structure of the WPS Index has been updated in 2023 to include four indicators that differ from the previous three editions. In order to examine trends in women’s status over time, we have recalculated WPS Index estimates for 2017, 2019, and 2021 to incorporate and account for these structural changes.

Analyzing trends over time reveals that women’s status is modestly improving worldwide but that key gaps persist.

Between 2017 and 2023:

  • The global average WPS Index score increased by three percent. Regionally, East Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa saw the most improvement.
  • At the country level, 20 countries saw score improvements of at least ten percent. Bahrain, Viet Nam, and Egypt experienced the largest increase.
  • On the other hand, 13 countries saw score deterioration of at least ten percent, with Eswatini, El Salvador, and Burkina Faso demonstrating the largest declines.
  • Across indicators, women’s financial inclusion and absence of legal discrimination have advanced the most worldwide, while women’s employment and proximity to conflict have seen the most significant regression.

These trends can be used to identify strategic priorities and guide data-driven policymaking. To strengthen implementation of the WPS Agenda and accelerate progress on gender equality, policymakers working on these issues should:

  • Invest in women’s employment and economic empowerment.
  • Amplify women’s voices and participation in peace processes.
  • Incorporate efforts to address political violence against women into WPS-related policies, programs, and National Action Plans.
  • Prioritize investments in women as investments in the wellbeing of everyone in society.
  • Scale up the production of high-quality, regularly updated, sex-disaggregated data.
  • Integrate measurable outcomes and corresponding metrics into WPS implementation plans.

Spotlight: 2023 Women, Peace and Security Index

The 2023 edition of the global Women Peace and Security Index (WPS Index) scores and ranks 177 countries in terms of women’s inclusion, justice, and security.

The WPS Index is published by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the PRIO Centre on Gender, Peace and Security with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Click here to read the full report.


  • Elena Ortiz, GIWPS Research Manager and Lead Author, WPS Index
  • Siri Aas Rustad, Research Professor and Research Director, PRIO
  • Milorad Kovacevic, Lead Statistician