Gender Equality Helps Achieve Sustainable Development Goals
Women are more vulnerable to natural calamities
A recent study by a Gurgaon based Global Shapers Community under the World Economic Forum called She Leads Green shows a strong correlation between gender equality and the UN sustainable development goals.
The report finds several links between gender equality and the 17 sustainable development goals agreed by UN members. Yet despite the UN 2030 Agenda of “leaving no one behind” it finds that development agencies still see women as “passive recipients of development assistance, and not as active contributors in accelerating progress.”
The global issues of poverty, hunger, good health and well-being and quality education improve with more gender equality. “Increased access to income and resources for women has also led to better nutritional status and better education outcomes for children,” the report finds.
Girls and women remain more vulnerable to development shocks. The report states that currently nearly 15 million girls are out of school as compared to 10 million boys, which will lead to worse employment opportunities and workspace treatment.
Women are also more vulnerable to disastrous natural calamities like droughts and hurricanes, given the nature of household work. “Women and girls worldwide collectively spend 200 million hours everyday collecting water.”
According to the report, countries with vast ratios of gender inequality “are more likely to be involved in intra- and interstate conflict than countries with more equitable gender relations. In countries with increased unrest due to extremism, we have seen how women have been the most vulnerable to violence and exploitation.”
It cites another study which finds that “the security of women, and not democracy, ethnic or religious identities, or wealth, is the most reliable indicator of the nation’s peacefulness.”
To achieve a gender equal global community that can achieve a sustainable economy, the report states, development programs need to ensure that “the partners of implementation are inclusive and representative.”
“We have less than ten years to meet the SDG targets,” the report stresses. “While we are making progress, we are not advancing at the scale and speed required.”
Besides governmental and state action, the report states that societal action that must complement it, and vice versa. “Our families and homes are the starting point in equality,” the report states. “The ripple effect of individual action to attain the SDG targets is unspoken.”