Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Why It Matters

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

Facts & Figures

  • About  two thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
  • Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector. The proportion of women in paid employment outside the agriculture sector has increased from 35 per cent in 1990 to 41 per cent in 2015
  • In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 per cent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.


• End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

• End all forms of violence against women and girls, including sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

• End all practices and traditions that may impair the physical, mental and sexual health of women and girls.

• Recognise and value women’s work at home. Encourage women and girls to have equal opportunities to be heard and to have real opportunities to participate in all political, economic and public spheres.

• Protect women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health.

• Promote policies and laws to ensure gender equality including reforms to give women equal access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources.

Take Action

  • Voice your support for equal pay for equal work. Women earn 10-30% less than men for the same work.
  • Support policy makers who promote lifelong education and training for girls and women. Women account for over 60% of the world's illiterate.
  • Call out sexist language and behavior. Share positive stories of gender equality and women's empowerment. 46% of stories in news media reinforce gender stereotypes.
  • Stand behind leaders who speak up for equal opportunities. Only 9% of negotiators at peace tables and 22% of parliamentarians are women.
  • Advocate for accepting all girls and women as they are. Throughout history, girls and women have been scrutinized with regard to their attitudes, behavior, sexuality and general conduct.
  • If you are a girl, stay in school, help empower your female classmates to do the same and fight for your right to access sexual and reproductive health services.
  • If you are a woman, address unconscious biases and implicit associations that can form an unintended and often 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.
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