What’s the goal here?
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.
Women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership. Across the globe, women and girls perform a disproportionate share of unpaid domestic work. Inequalities faced by girls can begin right at birth and follow them all their lives. In some countries, girls are deprived of access to health care or proper nutrition, leading to a higher mortality rate.
How much progress have we made?
Women and girls around the world continue to experience violence and cruel practices. Physical and/or sexual violence affects women of all ages, ethnicities, socioeconomic status and educational level. Child marriage also affects girls’ education. About one third of developing countries have not achieved gender parity in primary education. In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
But, why should gender equality matter to me?
Regardless of where you live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. Investing in education programmes for girls and increasing the age at which they marry can return $5 for every dollar spent. Investing in pro-grams improving income-generating activities for women can return $7 dollars for every dollar spent.
What can we do to fix these issues?
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 along-side 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.