Goal 5: Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

No country in the world has yet achieved complete gender equality. The spectrum of inequality faced by women goes from earning less than their male counterparts to exploitation and open discrimination.

Much has changed for the better in recent years. Today far more girls go to school and fewer women work in precarious jobs. But on some issues, things are stagnating. Even today many girls around the world look after the house and home, while their brothers go to school. In only half of all countries do as many women study as men, and even there they earn less on average. They own only a fraction of global assets and are still not sufficiently well represented in politics. These inequalities not only harm women – they squander an enormous potential that could be generating progress and development.

What must be done?

The goal is that women have the same opportunities as men and that they can take charge of their own lives. If this is to happen, women and men must have the same rights, obligations and opportunities in politics, industry and society. And that will only happen if both women and men work to achieve it and if politicians pave the way. But parallel to this, women’s everyday life must improve. By 2030 all forms of discrimination, violence and sexual exploitation as well as child marriage and genital mutilation are to be eradicated. Better internet access and more support in the field of family planning are also needed.

Facts and figures

  • On average, women earn 23 per cent less than men.
  • If women farmers had the same inputs and the same opportunities as male farmers, about 150 million fewer people would go hungry according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
  • Around the world, on average, 8 per cent of the work men perform in a day is unpaid whereas the figure for women is 19 per cent.
  • Women hold only 23 per cent of seats in the world’s parliaments.

5.1 End discrimination everywhere

End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.2 Eliminate violence and exploitation

Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.3 Prevent early marriage and female genital mutilation

Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

5.4 Acknowledge care and domestic work

Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

5.5 Participation and equal opportunities

Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life

5.6 Sexual health and family planning

Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

5.a Equal rights to economic resources and property

Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

5.b Technology (ICT) for women

Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

5.c Strenghten policies for gender equality

Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

“I think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.”

Source: UN Women

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