SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

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of people in developing countries (in 2013) lived in societies where income distribution was more unequal than in the 1990s


countries worldwide offer constitutional rights to people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity


of the wealth generated in 2017 went to the richest 1% of the world’s population, while the poorest half saw no increase in their wealth

Why SDG 10 matters for gender equality

Widening income inequality within many countries signals that the world’s wealth is captured increasingly by its richest people. While growing income inequality can destabilize societies and harm entire nations, its most acute impact falls on those who are already disadvantaged, including girls and women.

For them, gender inequalities in health, education, work and access to civic participation intersect with multiple discriminations linked to race, ethnicity, caste, religion, location, sexuality, age, class or disability. Indigenous women around the world, for example, face a disproportionate lack of access to healthcare.

Evidence suggests that gender inequality also fuels overall income inequality: the poorest people overall earn less when women earn less. In 2016, UN Women reported that household inequality between women and men may account for up to 30% of all income inequality.

Greater equality, however, is associated with higher growth, better development outcomes and greater income equality. SDG 10 recognizes the linked objectives of gender and social equity in target 10.1 (accelerated income growth for the poorest 40%); target 10.3 (equal opportunities); and target 10.4 (to support greater equality).

Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030
Jessica Lomelin / Equal Measures 2030

Click on a box to learn about the goal’s related issues, indicators and its relevance to gender equality.

Key findings from the SDG Gender Index

  • Income inequality:

    A high rate of income inequality pulls Colombia’s score down, because the richest 10% of people earned nearly four times the amount earned by the poorest 40% in 2012. Colombia’s Palma ratio is 4.0 compared to about 1.5 in both India (2010) and Indonesia (2010).

  • Perceptions of women’s political power:

    El Salvador scores lowest on how equally political power is shared between men and women based on experts’ perceptions in 2016. Senegal tops the six focus countries, though no country achieved a score indicating that women have full equality in political power.

  • Gender equality in constitutions:

    Constitutions are crucial foundations for legal guarantees of rights for girls and women. El Salvador and Indonesia have the lowest scores among the six focus countries for constitutional gender equality provisions (as of 2017), whereas Colombia, India and Senegal all score quite well.

Gender Equality Issues Without Sufficient Global Data

Here we highlight the ‘missing’ critical gender equality issues that we weren’t able to include in the Index due to insufficient globally comparable data. These ‘missing’ issues can help form part of an advocacy agenda calling for more and better gender data, contributing to existing calls for gaps in gender data to be filled.

Discriminatory laws and policies (e.g. based on ethnicity, religion, or caste)

Proportion of the population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed within the previous 12 months (broken down by sex and other dimensions)

Whether data are broken down not just by sex but by other dimensions such as age, ethnicity, language, religion or region.


Equal Measures 2030 Partners