Achieving Gender Equality: UN Report Warns about Devastating Effect on Development
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 aims at reaching gender equality by 2030. However, according to the report released by the UN Women and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) on September 7th, 2022, achieving gender equality will take “close to 300 years if the current rate of progress continues”. (UN News, 2022)
Knowing the crucial role that women and girls play in our society, economic growth, prosperity and development will not be possible without their full realisation. The promotion of biased gender norms and stereotypes by school curricula, textbooks, and teaching and learning practices, negatively influence girls’ choices in life and career, bringing the number of years needed to achieve equal representation in leadership positions in the workplace at 140. Especially concerning is the exposure of women to the devastating effect of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflict, and climate change. The report estimated that more than 383 million women and girls will live in extreme poverty by the end of the year, with many more having no access to basic needs such as food, clothing, and adequate shelter. As warned by Sima Bahous, Executive Director at UN Women, “It is critical that we rally now to invest in women and girls to reclaim and accelerate progress. The data show undeniable regressions in their lives made worse by the global crises – in incomes, safety, education and health. The longer we take to reverse this trend, the more it will cost us all." (UN News, 2022; UN Women, UN DESA, 2022)
Sources and Further Readings:
United Nations (September 7, 2022), Without investment, gender equality will take nearly 300 years: UN report, UN News, retrieved on September 8th, 2022, from https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/09/1126171.
UN Women, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (September 7th, 2022), Progress on The Sustainable Development Goals The Gender Snapshot 2022, UN Women, UN DESA Report, retrieved on September 8th, 2022, from https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2022/09/progress-on-the-sustainable-development-goals-the-gender-snapshot-2022.