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SDG 5 is unique in focusing on one population group: girls and women. However, its achievement requires strong progress for girls and women across every other SDG.
SDG 5 creates clear linkages between its overall goal of gender equality and the empowerment of women, including its own targets on ending discrimination and eliminating violence against women, and other SDG targets that reflect specific gender issues: the SDG 3 targets for family planning and reproductive health; the SDG 4 targets for gender parity in education; and the SDG 16 targets on the elimination of sexual exploitation and trafficking, among many others. SDG 5 is also aspirational.
While no nation on earth has ended discrimination against women, target 5.1 represents a catalytic call to action. Other targets were hotly contested, including 5.4 on recognizing and valuing unpaid care and domestic work, and 5.6 on universal access to sexual and reproductive health.
Their very presence within the final SDG agenda provides a strong mandate for advocacy on responsive and transformative legislation and for far greater investment in girls and women.
Women’s representation in government:
Many countries around the world—including all six focus countries—have made strides to increase women’s representation in government. Yet numbers remain far from equal: India’s national parliament is just 12% women, compared to 42% in Senegal (the highest ranking among focus countries). India, Indonesia and Kenya all perform relatively well for women in senior positions in the government, including heads of core ministries.
Restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion in many countries undermine women’s health and safety. El Salvador and Senegal fully criminalize abortion, including in cases of rape, incest and danger to the mother. Among the six focus countries, India and Colombia score highest on the extent of legal grounds for abortion.
Child, early and forced marriage:
Child, early and forced marriage remains a significant issue in all six focus countries— even in countries with relatively low reported rates, the practice is commonplace within some regions and groups. In Senegal, 31% of women aged 20 – 24 years were married or in a union before age 18, in India, 27%, and in El Salvador, 26%.
Women’s access to financial services and mobile banking is critical to their financial independence and to the economic health of their family and community. Among the six focus countries, Kenya far outperforms others in terms of women’s access to mobile banking tools: 75% of women in 2017 made or received a digital payment in the last year, compared to just 18% in El Salvador and 22% in India.
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.
As we mark this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, EM2030 seeks to share insights from its Global Advocates Survey on the issue of gender-based violence.Go to the Story
Aminata has been a passionate advocate for the protection of children since 1990 when she had the opportunity to represent Senegal at the UN Summit in West Africa when she was just 12 years old.Go to the Story
In Kenya, once a woman becomes a widow she runs the risk of losing her land. Alice and GROOTS Kenya collected data on land ownership to change this.Go to the Story
Sukaesih experienced gender based violence in her marriage for six years. She joined a community women’s group to help girls in her situation and to push for better access to government services.Go to the Story
My name is Aggry. I am a champion for female empowerment and increasing women’s participation in leadership roles here in Kakamega in the west of Kenya.Go to the Story