Achieve gender equality and empower all
women and girls
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Gender equality plays a crucial role in achieving many SDGs, from reducing poverty to improving the health and education systems. Providing women and girls with equal access to healthcare, education, decent work, and representation in decision-making will help stimulate a healthy and sustainable society.
- One-third of countries in the developing regions have not achieved gender parity in primary education. In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school, which further limits their opportunities in the labour market. Of the 103 million youth who lack basic literacy skills, more than 60% are female.
- Women continue to be underrepresented in the political and economic world, from managerial positions to single or lower houses of parliament. In most of the 67 countries with data from 2009 to 2015, less than a third of senior- and middle-management positions were held by women.
- Globally, 35% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Social acceptability and widespread impunity for perpetrators are among the main challenges contributing to violence against women.
- In many African and Middle Eastern countries, genital mutilation has been practiced on an estimated 133 million girls and women, in some cases leading to prolonged bleeding, infection (including HIV), childbirth complications, infertility, and death.
- Reducing the adolescent birth rate and number of child brides is crucial for the improvement of girls’ health, safety, education, employment, and decision-making. Adolescent birth rates remain highest in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, while the 10 countries with the highest rates child marriage are found in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
- As a female, you can stay in school, empower your female classmates, and fight for
- If you are a girl, you can stay in school, help empower your female classmates to do the same and fight for your right to access sexual and reproductive health services.
- If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases and implicit associations that can form an unintended and often an invisible barrier to equal opportunity.
- If you are a man or a boy, you can work alongside women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships. You can fund education campaigns to curb cultural practices like female genital mutilation and change harmful laws that limit the rights of women and girls and prevent them from achieving their full potential.
- Join the Spotlight Initiative in the fight to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls: http://www.un.org/en/spotlight-initiative/
- End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
- 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
- Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
- 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
- Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
- 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
- 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
- Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
- 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
• As a member of society, your active engagement in policy-making ensures that your voice is heard, knowledge is shared, and that critical thinking is encouraged at all ages. Policymakers can help generate job opportunities and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth and reduce poverty.
• As a member of the science and academic community, you can help discover sustainable solutions for the challenges of reducing poverty. Thanks to this community, there is now greater access to safe drinking water, reduced deaths caused by water-borne diseases, and improved hygiene to reduce health risks related to unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation.
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What can I
do about it
You can help create a community of people and participate in the decision-making and implementation processes. Educate yourself about the issues we face as a global family, connect with like-minded people and take action.
Ask questions to your leaders about what they’re doing in regards to gender equality. Focus your attention on actionable steps because no step is too small to make a difference. Join our community and help create a better world.