Monday, June 24, 2019
The world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals. Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Unfortunately, women and girls have reported discrimination and violence in every part of the world, experiencing physical or sexual violence by a family member. Progress is occurring regarding harmful practices such as child marriage and FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), but their complete elimination is still faraway. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies, benefit societies and humanity at large, and prevent the breaking of dangerous gender-based theories. This implies implementing legal frameworks regarding female equality in the workplace and the eradication of gender-based discrimination prevalent in many countries around the world.

Facts and figures

  • The rates of girls between 15-19 who experienced FGM in the 30 countries, have dropped from 1 in 2 girls in 2000 to 1 in 3 girls by 2017. Nevertheless, at least 200 million, in 30 countries, have undergone FGM and 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18.
  • In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working; in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights.
  • One in five women and girls, including 19% of those aged 15 to 49, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. And yet, 49 countries have no laws that specifically protect women from such violence.
  • Women have made important inroads into political office across the world. In 46 countries, they hold more than 30% of seats in national parliaments in at least one chamber. Yet their presence in national parliaments worldwide is still only 23.7%.
  • The 52% of women, married or in a free union make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care.
  • Women are just 13% of agricultural landholders.
  • Women in paid employment outside the agricultural sector has increased from 35% in 1990 to 41% in 2015.Yet, in Northern Africa they hold less than one in five of these paid jobs.
  • 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% since 2000.

Goals 5: targets

  • To end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • To eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual exploitation, child and forced marriage, and FGM.
  • 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 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 Programs and documents of the United Nations. It must be remembered, however, that according to the UN administration, reproductive health services include the right to free abortion by independent decision of the mother, even if a minor; this interpretation is rejected by many UN member countries.
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, access to ownership and control over land, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.
  • Enhance the use of information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.

See the Goal 5  in the UN page.

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