In advance of International Women’s Day, March 8, research by the WORLD Policy Analysis Center at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health shows that in countries where gender parity is high, both men and women live longer than in countries where equality is low.

Specifically, countries where educational gender parity is higher could expect years of greater life expectancy for both men and women, along with significantly fewer maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. A separate but related measure of women’s participation in the labor force suggests that increased gender parity in the workplace is also associated with a lower national maternal mortality rate and significant extensions to female life expectancy.

“This study marks an important step in quantitatively debunking the notion that women’s improved social standing and access to secure livelihoods come at men’s expense. Our research suggests that both men and women can gain from such shifts,” said Dr. Jody Heymann, founding director of WORLD and a UCLA distinguished professor of public health, public policy and medicine. “Additionally, male life expectancy may potentially be extended through educational equality.”

The study was published today in EClinicalMedicine. 

Read the full news release.