The Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Target 11 requires its 193 signatory parties to incorporate social equity into protected area (PA) management by 2020. However, there is limited evidence of progress toward this commitment. We surveyed PA managers, staff, and community representatives involved in the management of 225 PAs worldwide to gather information against 10 equity criteria, including the distribution of benefits and burdens, recognition of rights, diversity of cultural and knowledge systems, and processes of participation in decision-making. Our results show that more than half of the respondents indicated that there are still significant challenges to be addressed in achieving equitably managed PAs, particularly in ensuring effective participation in decision-making, transparent procedures, access to justice in conflicting situations, and the recognition of the rights and diversity of local people. Our findings are a first and fundamental contribution toward a global assessment of equitable management in PAs to report on Aichi Target 11 in 2020 and help define the next set of PA targets from 2020–2030.