Although improvements have taken place, there is not a single country in the world that has achieved gender parity. To give a few examples: women have on average, only 75% of the rights enjoyed by the average man. In education, inequality results in more than two-thirds of the world’s 800 million illiterate people being women. In working life, too, women often receive less pay than men for the same work and usually have less access to decision-making and leadership positions. Gender inequality leads to poverty and hunger – an estimated 60% of chronically hungry people are women and girls. Gender inequality excludes a person from opportunities to fully develop their potential, solely based on their gender attributes. That is why gender equality is a human right and also a necessity of sustainable development.
The goal of SDG 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. This can be achieved through action and enforceable laws. It includes ending all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls everywhere, such as forced marriage or female genital mutilation. It also necessitates access to sexual and reproductive health and exercising reproductive rights. In addition, SDG 5 aims to achieve recognition and appreciation of women’s and girls’ unpaid care and domestic work, and equal opportunities for participation in leadership positions in political, economic and public life.
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