Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
The fifth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

Gender Equality

Aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

Let's learn a little more about SDG 5.

  • Targets 9 Targets
  • Campaigns 3 Campaigns
  • Pledges 2349 Pledges
  • Actions Uploaded 2436 Actions Taken
  • Reading Material 8 Reading Material
  • Quiz 8 Quiz
  • Overview
  • Facts & Figures
  • Targets

Why Is It Important To Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls?

Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress. Inequalities faced by girls can begin right at birth and follow them all their lives.

Gender inequality impacts the lives of not just women, but all lives. Disadvantages in education translate into lack of access to skills and limited opportunities in the labour market. Women’s and girls’ empowerment is essential to expand economic growth and promote social development. The full participation of women in labour forces would add percentage points to most national growth rates — double digits in many cases

Gender equality is not merely a fundamental right. It is quintessential to the creation of a strong, just, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society. Achieving gender equality will not impact just one SDG; in fact, if SDG 5 - Gender Equality is achieved, it will accelerate progress towards achieving all the other SDGs as well. 

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda writes: “Gender equality and women’s empowerment are not just one of...

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda writes: “Gender equality and women’s empowerment are not just one of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to global challenges such as poverty, hunger, education and climate change. Both are the key to accelerating progress toward the achievement of the entire spectrum of goals.

“Women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace building has been expanding since the adoption of Resolution 1325 by the UN Security Council in 2000. But awareness of the importance of including women’s perspectives in the process of meeting global challenges is not limited to peace and conflict resolution. There’s much more to it.

“The Sendai Framework launched in 2015 at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction notes that empowering women within disaster preparation is vital to enhancing resilience. There is also emerging international recognition that women’s participation is key to effective climate action…

“Women’s empowerment is not an optional agenda; it is an urgent priority. It can serve as the dr...

“Women’s empowerment is not an optional agenda; it is an urgent priority. It can serve as the driving force to restore hope and the ability to advance in the face of the most challenging circumstances.

“A Syrian woman in a refugee camp in Jordan who started to work as a tailor in a centre operated by UN Women, recounts, “We no longer feel helpless, our work makes us feel productive and empowered.”

He further stresses that the 21st century must be a century of women, and expresses his belief, “The wisdom and power of women–their attentive commitment to reality, their care and concern for the people in their immediate surroundings, their capacity to treasure life itself– must be fully reflected throughout society. Only then will we see solid progress toward the resolution of critical global problems and realization of peace.”

He further adds that “Women will play a crucial role in realizing this kind of world in the twenty-first century. The values, principles, and ideologies that are presently being called into question are all the products of male-dominated societies. The emergence of women in the twenty-first century has a significance that goes to the very core of human civilization.” 


What Progress Has Been Made So Far In Terms of Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering All Women and Girls?

International commitments to advance gender equality have brought about improvements in some areas: 

  • Child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) have declined in recent years, and women’s representation in the political arena is higher than ever before. 
  • More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women are serving in parliament and positions of leadership, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.
  • More than 100 countries have taken action to track budget allocations for gender equality.
  • In Southern Asia, a girl’s risk of marrying in childhood has dropped by over 40 per cent since 2000.
  • But the promise of a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality, and where all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed, remains unfulfilled. In fact, that goal is probably even more distant than before, since women and girls are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Can I As An Individual Apply Sustainable Human Behaviour To Achieve These Targets For SDG 5 To Help Achieve The Goal Of Gender Equality?

  • We can consciously reflect on our own behavior and improve one’s attitude towards women on a daily basis, and strive to promote healthy, respectful relationships across genders.
  • We can refrain from posting or promoting any content on social media which is derogatory to women.
  • We can refrain from engaging in discriminatory behaviour towards women in thoughts, words and deeds.
  • We can educate ourselves on gender equality and raise awareness of all issues related to it.
  • We can pledge to never inflict any form of violence on women, both physically and psychologically.
  • We can share decision making responsibilities at home and workplaces, ensuring that women and girls have equal ownership and involvement in the decision-making processes.
  • We can avoid stereotyping any work based on gender.
  • 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 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.

Did You Know These Alarming Facts About SDG 5 – Gender Equality?

Targets For SDG 5 – Gender Equality Set By The United Nations

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

    Target 5.1
  • 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.

    Target 5.2
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

    Target 5.3
  • 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.

    Target 5.4
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life.

    Target 5.5
  • 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.

    Target 5.6
  • 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.

    Target 5.A
  • Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.

    Target 5.B
  • 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.

    Target 5.C

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