WHY IT MATTERS
What’s the goal here?
To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
a disproportionate share of unpaid domestic work.
Inequalities faced by girls can begin right at birth and follow them all their
Why? lives. In some countries,
Women and girls represent half of the world’s popu- lation 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 leader- ship. Across the globe, women and girls perform
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 expe- rience violence and cruel practices. Physical and/
or sexual violence affects
© UN Photo / Eskinder Debebe
women of all ages, ethnici- ties, socioeconomic status and educational level.
Child marriage also affects girls’ education. About one third of develop-
ing 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.
How does gender
inequality affect women?
Disadvantages in edu- cation translate into lack of access to skills and limited opportunities
in the labour market.
Women’s and girls’ empowerment is essen- tial 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
Are there any other gender-
Yes. Worldwide, 35 per cent of women between 15-49 years of age have experienced physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence or
violence. 1 in 3 girls aged 15-19 have experienced some form of female geni- tal mutilation/cutting in the 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where the harmful practice is most common with a high risk
of prolonged bleeding, infection (including HIV), childbirth complications, infertility and death.
The Spotlight Initative, an EU/UN partnership, is a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
But, why should gender
equality matter to me?
Regardless of where you live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equal- ity is critical to all areas
of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to pro- moting the health, educa- tion, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. Investing in educa- tion 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 repro- ductive health services. If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases and implicit associations that form an unintended and often an invisible bar- rier to equal opportunity.
Ifyouareamanora boy, you can work along- side women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships.
You can fund educa-
tion campaigns to curb cultural practices like female genital mutila-
tion and change harmful laws that limit the rights of women and girls and prevent them from achiev- ing their full potential.
To find out more
about Goal #5 and
other Sustainable Development Goals, visit: