Giving Compass’ Take:
• The UN provides an explanation of the consequences of the absence of global gender equality for individuals and society.
• How can donors align their work around SDG 5? How do other types of equality play into gender equality?
• Learn about the importance of intersectional feminism.
Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress. As of 2014, 143 countries have guaranteed equality between men and women in their Constitutions but 52 have yet to take this step.
Inequalities faced by girls can begin right at birth and follow them all their lives. In some countries, girls are deprived of access to health care or proper nutrition, leading to a higher mortality rate. As girls move into adolescence, gender disparities widen. Child marriage affects girls far more than boys. Globally, nearly 15 million girls under age 18 are married every year— or 37,000 each day.
Marrying young also affects girls’ education. About one third of developing countries have not achieved gender parity in primary education. In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys.