The Most Difficult Thing about Being a Woman, Ranked

Choose the thing you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 20, 2024 06:26
The complexities of everyday life bring about challenges that vary greatly across different groups of people. For women, these challenges often possess unique dimensions that might not be universally understood or acknowledged. By identifying and ranking these difficulties, a clearer picture can emerge, fostering a better understanding and support system. This votes-based system allows users to actively participate in recognizing and highlighting the issues deemed most significant. Each vote cast is a step closer to drawing collective attention towards these critical aspects, encouraging discussions and potential pathways to addressing the challenges. This active engagement helps in shaping an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued.

What Is the Most Difficult Thing about Being a Woman?

  1. 1
    Women often face discrimination in various aspects of life, including employment, education, and politics. Such discrimination limits opportunities and can lead to unequal treatment.
    Gender discrimination refers to the unequal treatment or prejudiced behavior towards individuals based on their gender. It occurs when a person is treated differently, paid less, or denied opportunities solely because of their gender. This type of discrimination can lead to various negative consequences, including limited access to education, lower job prospects, wage gaps, and restricted decision-making power.
    • Severity: High
    • Prevalence: Global
    • Impact on education: Limited access to education opportunities
    • Impact on employment: Lower job prospects and wage gaps
    • Impact on decision-making: Restriction of decision-making power
  2. 2
    Women are more likely to experience violence and abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment. This can have long-lasting physical and psychological effects.
    Gender-based violence refers to any act of violence, physical or psychological, that is primarily committed against women because of their gender. It encompasses a wide range of harmful behaviors including physical abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and honor killings. Gender-based violence is rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, and it is a pervasive issue affecting women globally.
    • Scope: Global
    • Affected Group: Primarily women
    • Types of violence: Physical abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, female genital mutilation, forced marriages, honor killings
    • Causes: Gender inequality and discrimination
    • Impact: Physical and psychological harm, trauma, reduced quality of life, societal implications
  3. 3
    Women face unique health challenges related to their reproductive system, such as menstrual disorders, infertility, and pregnancy complications. These issues can have significant impacts on quality of life.
    Reproductive health issues refer to a broad range of concerns and conditions that specifically affect women's reproductive systems. These issues can include menstrual disorders, fertility problems, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy complications, and gynecological disorders. They may arise due to various factors such as hormonal imbalances, genetic predispositions, lifestyle choices, or underlying medical conditions. Addressing reproductive health issues is essential for promoting overall wellbeing, ensuring safe pregnancies, and enabling individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive choices.
    • Prevalence: Reproductive health issues are widespread, affecting millions of women globally.
    • Diverse Range: Reproductive health issues encompass a wide spectrum of conditions and concerns.
    • Complexity: These issues often involve intricate interactions between physiological, psychological, and social factors.
    • Specificity: Reproductive health issues primarily impact individuals with female reproductive systems.
    • Impact on Quality of Life: These issues can cause discomfort, pain, emotional distress, and impact overall quality of life.
  4. 4

    Unequal pay

    Societal and economic systems
    Women often earn less than men for the same work, which can limit their earning potential and financial stability.
    Unequal pay refers to the systematic disparity in earnings between men and women for performing the same or similar work. It is a persistent issue that continues to affect women in various workplaces around the world, often resulting in lower income, limited career growth, and financial insecurity for women.
    • Gender pay gap: Unequal average earnings between men and women.
    • Equal Pay Act of 1963: US federal law aimed at eliminating gender-based wage discrimination.
    • Occupational segregation: Women are often concentrated in lower-paying jobs or industries.
    • Implicit bias: Unconscious attitudes or stereotypes affecting hiring, promotion, and salary decisions.
    • Maternity leave/pregnancy discrimination: Women face financial penalties due to taking time off or being treated unfairly during pregnancy.
  5. 5
    Women are often expected to conform to certain gender norms and stereotypes, such as being nurturing and emotional. These expectations can limit personal choices and career opportunities.
    Societal expectations refers to the unwritten rules and norms imposed by society on women, dictating how they should behave, dress, and live their lives. These expectations often influence various aspects of a woman's life, including education, career choices, relationships, and even appearance.
    • Gender roles: Society expects women to fulfill traditional gender roles as caregivers, homemakers, and nurturing individuals.
    • Appearance standards: There are specific beauty standards imposed on women, pressuring them to conform to certain body types, skin tones, and grooming practices.
    • Career limitations: Women often face barriers, such as limited career opportunities, wage gaps, and glass ceilings, where societal expectations hinder their professional growth.
    • Motherhood pressures: Society expects women to become mothers and places expectations and judgment on their choices related to pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.
    • Emotional expression: Women are often expected to be emotionally sensitive and nurturing, while expressions of anger or assertiveness may be frowned upon or labeled negatively.
  6. 6

    Body image pressures

    Society and media
    Women are often subjected to unrealistic beauty standards, which can lead to body image issues and low self-esteem.
    Body image pressures refer to the societal and cultural expectations placed on women's appearance, particularly regarding their physical attributes, size, and shape. These pressures often lead to body dissatisfaction and create negative self-perception among women.
    • Causes: Media portrayal, unrealistic beauty standards, social comparisons
    • Consequences: Low self-esteem, eating disorders, depression, anxiety
    • Prevalence: Global, affecting women of all ages and backgrounds
    • Media influence: Magazines, advertisements, social media platforms
    • Size and shape ideals: Varies across cultures and time-periods
  7. 7
    Women are often responsible for both paid work and domestic work, leading to a double burden that can be difficult to manage.
    The 'Double burden of work' refers to the phenomenon where women are expected to fulfill both domestic responsibilities and participate in paid employment, which creates an excessive workload and pressure on women. It is a term commonly used in the context of gender inequality and women's rights.
    • Gender Inequality: Highlights the unequal distribution of labor and responsibilities between men and women
    • Domestic Responsibilities: Women are expected to manage household chores, caregiving, and other unpaid domestic work
    • Paid Employment: Women are also expected to work paid jobs outside the home
    • Excessive Workload: Women face increased pressure as they have to fulfill both domestic and paid work
    • Socioeconomic Implications: Can limit women's career opportunities, cause physical and mental health issues, and perpetuate gender inequality
  8. 8
    Women are underrepresented in leadership positions in various industries and sectors, limiting their ability to have a voice and impact.
    The lack of representation of women in leadership positions refers to the underrepresentation of women in high-ranking positions within companies, organizations, and government bodies. This issue highlights the unequal distribution of power and influence, as well as the limited opportunities available for women to contribute and shape policies and decisions at the highest levels.
    • Gender Gap: There is a significant disparity between the number of men and women in leadership roles.
    • Glass Ceiling: Women often face barriers that prevent them from advancing to executive or top managerial positions.
    • Stereotypes: Gender stereotypes can lead to biases that undermine women's qualifications and suitability for leadership roles.
    • Socio-cultural Factors: Traditional gender roles and expectations can discourage women from pursuing or being selected for leadership positions.
    • Pay Gap: The gender pay gap contributes to the underrepresentation of women in leadership, as it affects career advancement and opportunities for professional development.
  9. 9
    In some parts of the world, women have limited access to education, which can limit their ability to pursue their goals and aspirations.
    Limited access to education refers to the systemic barriers and challenges that women face in accessing quality education. It encompasses various factors such as gender discrimination, cultural norms, poverty, lack of adequate infrastructure, and discriminatory policies that restrict or discourage girls and women from pursuing education.
    • 1: Gender discrimination and stereotypes limit girls' access to education by undervaluing their potential compared to boys.
    • 2: Cultural norms, such as early marriage and traditional gender roles, often prioritize girls' domestic responsibilities over education.
    • 3: Poverty and economic barriers prevent families from affording school fees, uniforms, transportation, and other essential educational expenses.
    • 4: Lack of safe and inclusive learning environments disproportionately affects girls, as they may face harassment, violence, or fear of gender-based discrimination.
    • 5: Limited access to adequate infrastructure, such as schools, classrooms, and sanitation facilities, further hinders girls' enrollment and retention in education.
  10. 10

    Objectification and sexualization

    Society and culture
    Women are often objectified and sexualized in media and culture, which can lead to harassment and a lack of respect for their autonomy and dignity.
    Objectification and sexualization in the context of being a woman refers to the dehumanizing treatment and representation of women primarily as sexual objects, rather than as individuals with their own thoughts, feelings, and agency. It is a form of sexism and gender inequality that perpetuates harmful stereotypes and power imbalances.
    • 1: It disregards a woman's autonomy and reduces her worth to her physical appearance.
    • 2: It objectifies women through objectifying and sexualizing media portrayals, advertisements, and everyday interactions.
    • 3: It contributes to the normalizing of sexual harassment, assault, and violence against women.
    • 4: It reinforces harmful gender roles and expectations, limiting women's opportunities and agency.
    • 5: It perpetuates the idea that a woman's value lies in her desirability to men, fostering low self-esteem and body image issues.

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Ranking factors for difficult thing

  1. Gender discrimination and stereotypes
    Societal expectations and stereotypes can limit and pressure women, impacting their personal, social, and professional lives.
  2. Workplace challenges
    Women often face challenges in the workplace such as a pay gap, fewer advancement opportunities, and a lack of support for maternity leave and flexible work arrangements.
  3. Violence and harassment
    Women experience higher rates of gender-based violence and harassment, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and street harassment.
  4. Health and reproductive rights
    Women face unique health concerns, such as menstrual issues, pregnancy, and childbirth, and may face obstacles accessing reproductive healthcare and family planning options.
  5. Balancing work and family life
    Women often shoulder the majority of domestic and caregiving responsibilities, which can make it challenging to balance work and family life.
  6. Body image and beauty standards
    Society often places pressures on women to adhere to specific beauty standards, which may result in poor body image, low self-esteem, and mental health issues.
  7. Access to education and resources
    In some parts of the world, women and girls may not have equal access to education, leading to limited opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  8. Legal rights and protection
    In some regions, women may have limited legal rights and protection, affecting their social and financial independence and ability to advocate for themselves.
  9. Political representation
    Women are often underrepresented in politics, which may result in policies that overlook the needs and concerns of women.
  10. Cultural and religious barriers
    Cultural and religious norms can sometimes perpetuate gender inequalities and restrict women's rights, freedom, and autonomy.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult thing about being a woman. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or thing is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 218 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each thing once every 24 hours. The rank of each thing is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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More information on most difficult thing about being a woman

As a content writer for StrawPoll, I would like to provide you with some background information on the topic "What is the most difficult thing about being a woman?". For centuries, women have faced numerous challenges and struggles that have hindered their progression and equality in various aspects of life. Despite several advancements and movements towards gender equality, women continue to face various obstacles that are unique to their gender. One of the most difficult things about being a woman is the constant pressure to conform to society's expectations of what a woman should look like, act like, and achieve in life. This pressure can lead to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and self-doubt, which can have a significant impact on a woman's mental and emotional well-being. Additionally, women often face discrimination and inequality in the workplace, where they are paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same job. They are also underrepresented in leadership positions, which limits their opportunities for career advancement. Women also face unique challenges related to their reproductive health and rights. They are often subjected to restrictions on access to healthcare, including contraception and abortion services, which can have a significant impact on their physical and mental health. In summary, being a woman comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties that are often overlooked or dismissed. By acknowledging and addressing these issues, we can work towards creating a more equitable and just society for all genders.

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