Goal 5: Gender equality  

UNICEF photo

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.

Since 2000, UNDP together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community has made gender equality central to our work, and we have seen some remarkable successes. 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 Sustainable Development Goals aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labour market. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision making, all remain huge barriers.

Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property, are vital targets to realizing this goal. There are now more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders across all regions will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.

Gender equality is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 5.

Our work

UNDP in Afghanistan
Creating Afghanistan's next generation of entrepreneurs -- women

Since 2011, UNDP’s Gender Equality Project (GEP) has trained nearly 200 women in Herat in small and artisanal livelihoods, marketing their products, and expanding their businesses.more 

UNDP in Indonesia
A political ground shift for women

UNDP’s Strengthening Women’s Participation and Representation in Indonesia (SWARGA) project aims to strengthen the skills and knowledge of women in politics, and to increase public representation and participation in political and government institutions.more 

Women in Tajikistan
UNDP in Europe and Central Asia
Closing the Gap: Delivering impact for gender equality

In Misi village in Turkey, a silk unit for niche products, another dream child of a group of women, is having a fourth year of success, against all odds.more 

Helen Clark with women
UNDP in Armenia
Armenian women find a recipe for success in local politics

A joint EU-UNDP Women in Local Democracy project works to help women in all ten regions of Armenia to participate more actively in the governance of their communities.more 

Learn more: Gender equality

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