Aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
Let's learn a little more about SDG 5.
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 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 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.”
International commitments to advance gender equality have brought about improvements in some areas:
Globally, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18 and at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM.
The rates of girls between 15-19 who are subjected to FGM (female genital mutilation) in the 30 countries where the practice is concentrated have dropped from 1 in 2 girls in 2000 to 1 in 3 girls by 2017.
In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working; in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights; and 49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence.
One in five women and girls, including 19 per cent of women and girls aged 15 to 49, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. Yet, 49 countries have no laws that specifically protect women from such violence.
While women have made important inroads into political office across the world, their representation in national parliaments at 23.7 percent is still far from parity.
In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.
Only 52 per cent of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
Globally, women are just 13 per cent of agricultural land holders.
Only 35% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in higher education globally are women.
One in three women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime since the age of 15.
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.
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