As the UN says, “gender equality is a fundamental human right.” It is not only a fundamental human right but also the basis for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. SDG 5 aims at gender equality, equal opportunities, empowering girls and women, and the right to self-determination, and it is shortened to achieve by 2030. Making up half of the world’s population, women and girls are the intense focus of this goal, but it is not to be limited by gender. Although we know that currently, gender encompasses many terms, the United Nations is mostly referring to women and girls within this goal. However, to achieve the targets of this goal, not only women and girls but this includes LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) or the LGBTTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex, Queer people). They should be able to grow up self-confident, self-determined, and non-violent. They should be able to go to school, work in politics and in leadership positions, and much, much more. Furthermore, Goal 5 focuses on inclusion and on integrating people with disabilities; so, a very broad field.
SDG 5 is emphasized “achieve gender quality and empower all women and girls”, or simply “Gender Equality”. It has nine targets and fourteen indicators. SDG 5 is focused on pursuing the main goal of real and sustained gender equality in all aspects of women and girls’ lives which includes:
- ending gender disparities,
- eliminating violence against women and girls’ lives,
- eliminating early and forced marriage,
- securing equal participation and opportunities for leadership,
- universal access to sexual and reproductive rights, and
- recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work.
Any progress have we made so far? International commitments to advance gender equality have brought about improvements in some areas: child marriage, female foeticide, inequality, and experienced physical and/ or sexual violence or non-partner sexual violence. 1 in 3 girls aged 15-19 have experienced some form of female genital mutilation/cutting in the 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, where the harmful practice is most common with a high risk of prolonged bleeding, infection (including HIV), childbirth complications, infertility, and death. The COVID-19 lockdown further caused domestic violence to increase in many countries, indicating the critical importance of social protection for the weaker sex.
Goal Hard Hit by Covid 19:
In many parts of the globe, female genital mutilation (FGM) and female foeticide have declined in recent years, and women’s representation in the political arena and many other leading roles is higher than ever before. But the promise of a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality, and where all legal, social, and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed, remains unfulfilled. In fact, that goal is probably even more distant than before, since women and girls are being hit hard by the pandemic. Women and girls perform a disproportionate share of unpaid domestic work. Inequalities faced by girls can begin right at birth and follow them all their lives. In some countries, girls are deprived of access to healthcare or proper nutrition, leading to a higher domestic violence and mortality rate.
How much progress have we made? Unfortunately, this is the case in many parts of the world – and the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities for women and girls. In many places, there has been talk of a “double pandemic” because violence against women and people in the queer community has increased significantly due to the pandemic. According to Oxfam, during the first lockdown of 2020, there were 111% more calls to aid hotlines in Malaysia, 79% in Colombia, 73% in Italy, and 69% in South Africa. Within 12 months, one out of five women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner. Even so, 49 countries do not have laws protecting women from domestic violence. It shows still we have miles to go.
What can I do to Solve This:
If you are a girl, you can stay in school at least for basic and middle education this will help empower you to help your female classmates to do the same and fight for your right to equality and to access sexual and reproductive health services. If you are a woman, you can address unconscious biases which form an invisible barrier to equal opportunity. If you are a man or a boy, you can work alongside women and girls to achieve gender equality and embrace healthy, respectful relationships. Eliminating the wage gap could also benefit the world economy in many other ways. Domestic chores should not be restricted to girls.
The goal now is to keep promoting gender equality while replacing old systems based on discrimination and outdated mindsets.