Gender Equality

Focus 5: Gender Equality


Provision of equal opportunities for men and women, boys and girls, is necessary for the full realization of their rights, their potential, and their contribution to sustainable development. Some areas that could be considered include:

  1. ending all forms of discrimination against women of all ages;

  2. ending violence against girls and women in all its forms;

  3. ensuring equal access to education at all levels;

  4. ensuring equal employment opportunities for women and equal pay for equal work;

  5. equal access to assets and resources, including natural resources management;

  6. ensuring equal participation of women in decision-making in public and private institutions;

  7. ending child, early and forced marriage;

  8. reducing the burden of unpaid care work;

  9. sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights;

  10. promoting the availability of gender disaggregated data to improve gender equality policies, including gender sensitive budgeting; and

  11. appropriate means of implementation*.


  • Gender equality was affirmed as an end in itself and as an essential means for sustainable development and poverty eradication. There can be no sustainable development without gender equality and the full participation of women and girls. Gender inequality is the most pervasive form of inequality in the world.

  • There was widespread support for a stand-alone goal on gender equality, supplemented by cross- cutting targets under other goals.

  • Gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment in the SDGs must be aligned with CEDAW, the Beijing Platform for Action, the ICPD, and the Rio+20 outcome document.

  • Many expressed broad support for a number of priority actions, including: preventing and eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls; empowering women legally and economically; and strengthening women’s voice, participation in decision-making and leadership in all areas of life.

  • The recognition, reduction, and redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work, disproportionately borne by women and girls, was also recognized as an area for action.

  • Many of you referred to the need to respect and fulfil the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals, including access to sexual and reproductive health information, education, and services. Many others referred to the need to be consistent in this regard with the ICPD agreement and stressed the need not to include ideas, concepts, and rights that are not agreed upon within the internationally recognised human rights framework.

The above was taken from the United Nations Sustainability web site:

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