The world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. Try 2322.

That’s right. According to a report published by UN Women this month, it could take close to 300 years to achieve full gender equality at the current rate of progress (read: too slow).

The global pandemic, conflict, climate change, and a harsh backlash against women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights are further diminishing the outlook for gender equality, according to the report. Violence against women remains high; global health, climate, and humanitarian crises have further increased risks of violence, especially for the most vulnerable women and girls; and women feel more unsafe than they did before the pandemic.

Yet, girls and women hold the key to ending hunger, saving the planet, and boosting the economy — but not without more support.

That’s why, as part of our Global Citizen Festival campaign, we’re on a mission to empower girls NOW. The 2022 Global Citizen Festival is part of a worldwide campaign calling on world leaders to End Extreme Poverty NOW with twin events in New York City’s Central Park and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana, on Sept. 24.

We’re calling on world leaders, major corporations, and philanthropic foundations to take to our festival stages and announce new commitments to End Extreme Poverty NOW, including: to deploy financing; take climate action; empower women and girls through critical investments in education, sexual and reproductive health, and economic empowerment; and mitigate a global food system meltdown.

Why is this urgently needed? Just take a look at these shocking facts about global gender inequality from the UN’s new report.

  1. Over 380 million women and girls are living in extreme poverty.
  2. Over 1.2 billion women and girls live in places where safe access to abortion is restricted.
  3. 12 million girls under 18 are married each year.
  4. One woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11 minutes. 
  5. There are more forcibly displaced women and girls than ever before

Read the full article about gender inequality by Tess Lowery at Global Citizen.