ESSEX university researchers have developed a new way of measuring gender inequality.

The team believe their Basic Index of Gender Inequality is a simpler and more accurate picture of wellbeing.

It focuses on three factors – educational opportunities, healthy life expectancy and overall life satisfaction.

Essex University teamed up with the University of Missouri to calculate scores for 134 nations and 6.8 billion people.

Their data found men are, on average, more disadvantaged than women in 91 countries.

This compared to women being disadvantaged in 43 countries.

Professor Gijsbert Stoet, from the department of psychology at Essex University, said existing measures did not “fully capture” the hardships experienced by men.

He said: “We’re not saying that women in highly developed countries are not experiencing disadvantages in some aspects of their lives.

“What we are saying is that an ideal measure of gender equality is not biased to the disadvantages of either gender.

“Doing so, we find a different picture to the one commonly presented in the media.”

Using the new measure, researchers found the most developed countries in the world come closest to achieving equality, albeit with a slight advantage for women.

In the least developed countries, women nearly always fall behind men – largely because they have fewer opportunities to get a good education.