SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality Progress


While some indicators of gender equality are progressing, such as a significant decline in the prevalence of female genital mutilation and early marriage, the overall numbers continue to be high. Moreover, insufficient progress on structural issues at the root of gender inequality, such as legal discrimination, unfair social norms and attitudes, decision-making on sexual and reproductive issues and low levels of political participation, are undermining the ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5.

  • Recent data from 106 countries show that 18 per cent of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence in the previous 12 months. The prevalence is highest in least developed countries, at 24 per cent.
  • The practice of child marriage has continued to decline around the world, largely driven by progress in South Asia, where a girl’s risk of marrying in childhood decreased by about one quarter between 2013 and 2018. In sub-Saharan Africa, levels of child marriage have declined at a more modest rate.
  • At least 200 million girls and women have been subjected to female genital mutilation, based on data from 30 countries where the practice is concentrated and where nationally representative prevalence data is available. In these countries, the prevalence of this harmful practice declined by one quarter between approximately 2000 and 2018.
  • According to recent data from some 90 countries, women devote on average roughly three times more hours a day to unpaid care and domestic work than men, limiting the time available for paid work, education and leisure and further reinforcing gender-based socioeconomic disadvantages.
  • Women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership. As at 1 January 2019, women’s representation in national Parliaments ranged from 0 to 61.3 per cent, with the average standing at 24.2 per cent, an increase from 19 per cent in 2010. At the local level, data from 99 countries and areas show that women’s representation in elected deliberative bodies varies from less than 1 per cent to 48 per cent, with the median of the distribution at 26 per cent. When legislated gender quotas are adopted, significantly higher proportions of women are elected at both national and local levels.
  • While women represented 39 per cent of world employment, only 27 per cent of managerial positions in the world were occupied by women in 2018, up only marginally from 26 per cent in 2015. The proportion of women in management has increased since 2000 in all regions except in least developed countries.
  • In 51 countries with data on the subject, only 57 per cent of women aged 15 to 49, married or in union, make their own decisions about sexual relations and the use of contraceptives and health services.
  • Over the past 25 years, there has been progress in reforming laws towards improving gender equality, yet discriminatory laws and gaps in legal protection remain in many countries. On the basis of data collected across four areas of law in 2018 from 53 countries, almost a third have legal gaps in the area of overarching legal frameworks and public life (e.g., constitutions, antidiscrimination laws, quotas, legal aid); more than a quarter have legal gaps in the area of violence against women; and 29 per cent and 24 per cent have legal gaps in the employment and economic benefits area and in the marriage and family area, respectively.
  • Despite progress in implementing gender-responsive budgeting globally, gaps remain in country efforts to establish comprehensive and transparent tracking systems. Based on 2018 data from 69 countries, 13 countries fully met the criteria of having in place a tracking system that measures and makes publicly available gender budget data, and 41 countries approached the requirements.


Source: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5