UN Women report uncovers significant gaps in women empowerment


A new report by UN Women demonstrates through concrete evidence and data the pervasive nature of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

The report puts forth actionable recommendations on how to fulfill the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Two and a half years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, this first-of-its-kind report examines through a gender lens the progress and challenges in the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Agenda’s focus on peace, equality and sustainability provides a powerful counter-narrative to the current rise of conflict, exclusion and environmental degradation.

A new analysis from the report shows that “in 89 countries with available data, women and girls account for 330 million of the poor.”

According to the report, “it translates to four more women living on less than USD 1.90 a day for every hundred men.”

Gender Inequality

The report also pointed out that gender gap is particularly wide during the reproductive years as more than 50 per cent of urban women and girls in developing countries live in conditions where they lack at least either access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities, durable housing, or sufficient living area.

It noted that eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls is a pre-condition for peaceful societies, yet 1 in 5 women under the age of 50 experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the past 12 months.

According to the report, between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas while poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.

Presenting the report, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said: “As a world, we are committed through the SDGs to leave no one behind. This report’s new data and analysis underlines that, unless progress on gender equality is significantly accelerated, the global community will not be able to keep its promise. This is an urgent signal for action, and the report recommends the directions to follow.”

She said that the report highlights how, in the lives of women and girls, different dimensions of well-being and deprivation are deeply intertwined.

“ A girl who is born into a poor household and forced into early marriage, for example, is more likely to drop out of school, give birth at an early age, suffer complications during childbirth, and experience violence,” she said.

The way forward

The report provides wide-ranging recommendations for change, highlighting four key areas of action such as integrated policies that can leverage synergies and help achieve several goals at the same time.

Achieving gender equality as a tool for sustainable future for all women.  For instance, the report shows that reducing the burden of unpaid care work for women by providing free and universal child care would allow them to access employment opportunities, create decent jobs in the social services sector, and improve children’s health and nutritional outcomes.

The report also looked beyond national averages to uncover the yawning gaps between women and girls who, even within the same country, are living worlds apart because of their income status, race/ethnicity, or where they live.


VON reports that the UN Women launched its flagship report,tagged “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

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