Open letter to World Leaders: Rapid change on gender equality is possible but you must accelerate progress
This year marks 25 years since 189 countries committed to the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights (The Beijing Platform for Action) and also marks the 10 year countdown to the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects for people
across the world. We won’t be able to realize this vision if we don’t ensure that girls and women have equal rights and opportunities. And yet, to date no country has achieved gender equality. As representatives of leading organizations championing gender equality, we’re raising the alarm about the pace of progress. There is no time left for business as usual: gender equality can be achieved for billions of girls and women by 2030, but it requires everyone to move faster.
We’ve found that, if the current pace continues, 67 countries – home to 2.1 billion girls and women – will not achieve any of the key gender equality targets we studied by 2030. Our new report, Bending the Curve Towards Gender Equality by 2030, looks at five vital targets for which data were available: access to contraception, girls’ education, political leadership, workplace equality laws, and safety.
More than a third of the 129 countries we studied have been moving slowly, or even in the wrong direction, on at least four of the five issues over the past decade or two. At the global level, for example, there has been almost no progress on perceptions of safety: If current rates continue, it will take more than six generations for all girls and women to report feeling safe walking at night.