Gender equality and women's empowerment

Gender equality and women's empowerment play a vital role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations. Acknowledging the significance of SDG 5, which explicitly targets gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, it's worth noting that these elements are fundamentally tied to all 17 goals. Each goal, whether it pertains to poverty eradication, quality education, or climate action, is directly or indirectly affected by gender dynamics. Gender inequality inhibits economic growth (SDG 8) by depriving economies of the full potential of half its population, thereby exacerbating poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2). Additionally, gender-based discrimination can limit access to quality education (SDG 4) and decent work (SDG 8) for women and girls, further perpetuating inequality. In health matters, gender roles and stereotypes often result in disparities in healthcare access and outcomes (SDG 3). With respect to environmental sustainability (SDGs 13, 14, and 15), women, particularly those in rural areas, bear the brunt of climate change impacts, but they also hold unique knowledge and skills crucial for mitigation and adaptation strategies. Likewise, women's underrepresentation in decision-making roles limits their influence on peace and justice (SDG 16) and partnerships for goals (SDG 17). Thus, achieving gender equality isn't only about justice for women and girls, but also about progress on every SDG. Women's empowerment creates a multiplier effect that boosts economic growth and promotes sustainable development, thereby setting a direct path towards achieving the SDGs. Encouragingly, concerted efforts worldwide are recognizing and amplifying women's roles in society, placing gender equality and women's empowerment at the heart of the SDGs. Such advancements signify a positive stride towards a balanced and equitable world.

Elsevier,

The Lancet, Volume 393, Number 10171, 9 February 2019, pages 493-610. 

This special issue from The Lancet focusses on SDG 5 (gender equality) within science, medicine, and global health, contributing to SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing).  This issue also contributes to SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities).

Elsevier,

The Lancet, Volume 393, Issue 10171, 9–15 February 2019, Pages 512-514.

Directly contributing to SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 4 (quality education), this report investigates sexual harassment incidents within academia and discusses the uprising of online naming and shaming of sexual harassment culprits.
Image of Marcia Balisciano
During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Márcia Balisciano, Corporate Responsibility Director at RELX Group, spoke about how women are advancing the 17 SDGs in a panel empowering women to advance the goals.
This podcast highlights how the #MeToo campaign is tackling sexual harassment in the workplace and helping to empower women. It is advancing SDG 5, gender equality.
Elsevier,

World Development, Volume 113, January 2019

SDG 8 calls for promoting 'sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’. Even as it highlights the importance of labour rights for all, it also makes visible some significant tensions. We note, for example, that despite many critiques of narrow economic measures of growth, the focus here remains on GDP and per capita growth. This is problematic, we argue, because the GDP productive boundary excludes much of social reproductive work.

Background: Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States and mortality from cancer is more common among individuals in the Appalachian region compared to the rest of the country. We examined how risk factors for long-term health outcomes for Estrogen positive breast cancer patients differed by county economic status in southern Appalachia. Methods: Data was collected through retrospective data mining of patient medical files (N = 238). Using the self-reported zipcode, patients were classified into county economic status.
To advance goal 5, this report seeks to bridge the gap in the conversation around gender equality by demonstrating that when more women are in corporate decision-making positions, their companies benefit - as do society and the environment.
This report provides guidance for companies to take concrete actions to integrate women's health and empowerment in their policies, systems, and operations, furthering SDGs 3, 5 and 8. The framework is based on lessons learned from consultations with companies, non-governmental organizations, and women's health programs in order to provide best practices for investing in workplace women's health and empowerment.
To advance goal 5, XpertHR have recorded a webinar that discusses the steps employers are taking to address or improve the gender pay gap within their organisations.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 34, October 2018
This paper examines the potential and limitations of SDG 5 (Gender Equality) in helping to achieve household food security. The potential lies in the attention it pays to women's access to land and natural resources, which can significantly enhance women's ability to produce and procure food. Its limitations lie in a lack of attention to the production constraints that women farmers face; its failure to recognise forests and fisheries as key sources of food; and its lack of clarity on which natural resources women need access to and why.

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