Goal 5: Gender equality

Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also crucial to accelerating sustainable development. It has been proven time and again, that empowering women and girls has a multiplier effect, and helps drive up economic growth and development across the board.

Since 2000, UNDP, together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community, has made gender equality central to our work. We have seen remarkable progress since then. More girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education. Women now make up to 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, compared to 35 percent in 1990.

The SDGs aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still huge inequalities in the labour market in some regions, with women systematically denied equal access to jobs. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public office, all remain huge barriers.

Affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property are vital targets to realizing this goal. So is ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health. Today there are more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging women leaders will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.

Facts and figures

77 cents

Globally, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn doing the same work.

1 in 3

35% of women in the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.

20%

Less than 20 percent of the world's landholders are women.

750 million

Worldwide, almost 750 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday.

2 of 3

Two thirds of countries in the developing world have achieved gender parity in primary education.

22.8%

Only 22.8 percent of all national parliamentarians were women as of June 2016, up from 11.3 percent in 1995.

  • 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 decisionmaking 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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Goals in action
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Ending the dry season with sustainable water management

Communities in northern Ghana thrive with reliable irrigation and new income opportunities.

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Widening inequality; a universal issue

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In Costa Rica, women find new strength as business leaders

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Guardians of the forest

Improving livelihoods while protecting natural resources in Colombia.

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Building equality on the roof of the world

A lack of running water has adversely affected the lives of women and girls in a remote mountain village in Pakistan.

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How extreme weather increases inequality

The two cyclones that hit southeastern Europe in 2014 resulted in a dramatic increase in women's unpaid work, as well as gender-based violence.

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Connecting cook and customer in Libya

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