Gender equality

Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5 or Global Goal 5) concerns gender equality. The 17 SDGs recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance socialeconomic and environmental sustainability. A system thinking approach is the base for global sustainability.

SDG 5 has nine targets and 14 indicators. Six of the targets are “outcome-oriented”: ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere; ending violence and exploitation of women and girls; eliminating harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation; increasing value of unpaid care and promoting shared domestic responsibilities; ensuring full participation of women in leadership and decision-making; and ensuring access to universal reproductive rights and health. The three “means of achieving” targets are: fostering equal rights to economic resources, property ownership and financial services for women; promoting empowerment of women through technology; and adopting, strengthening policies and enforcing legislation for gender equality.

Through the pledge to “Leave No One Behind”, countries have committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind, first. SDG 5 aims to grant women and girls equal rights, opportunities to live free without discrimination including workplace discrimination or any violence. This is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected women as they are more vulnerable and have reduced access to treatment. Evidence shows there has been an increase in violence against women during the pandemic.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations. The broad goals are linked yet each has its own targets to achieve. The SDGs cover a broad range of social and economic development issues. These include poverty, hunger, health, education, climate changegender equality, water supply, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.

The SDGs replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Providing women and girls with equal access to educationhealth caredecent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate many root causes of discrimination that curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres. Eliminating gender-based violence and rape is a priority, given that it is a human rights violation. The commitment to advancing gender equality has brought improvements in some areas, but the promise of a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legalsocial and economic barriers to their empowerment, including digital empowerment is still wanting.

SDG 5: Gender equality

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