Progress on every SDG requires strong government institutions. SDG 16 spans institutional issues from peace to participatory decision making, and each one matters for girls and women. Government institutions that criminalize violence against women (target 16.1) codify their rights to live free of violence.
The rule of law (target 16.3) requires judicial systems that offer women legal protection. And women are crucial for participatory decision making (target 16.7).
Women in parliaments, for example, are more likely to sponsor legislation and compromise across political lines, and less likely to be corrupt. Yet as seen in SDG 5, women face barriers to political power. Amongst female parliamentarians surveyed in 2016, more than four in ten (44%) had been threatened with death, rape, beating or abductions while in office.
The general breakdown in law, order and state institutions that occurs during conflict has particularly dangerous effects for women, including increases in rates of sexual violence and gender-based violence (GBV). Such upticks have been documented in nearly every region of the globe, from Bosnia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to El Salvador and Myanmar. The majority of 86 civil wars around the world between 1980 and 2009 saw at least one year of numerous or massive reported rapes. Girls and women experience violence during conflict not only at the hands of combatants, but also civilians. Reports find that rates of intimate partner sexual violence and domestic violence increase during conflict.
Post-conflict situations are key moments to rebuild strong institutions that guarantee accountability and women’s participation. UNDP suggests that inclusive post-conflict political processes help to foster community resilience, restore the social contract between states and citizens, consolidate peace building and promote progress towards development goals.
In Rwanda, for example, post-genocide policies since 1994 have enabled more women to participate in the legislature, supporting the country’s development successes, including gender parity in literacy and primary enrolment. Today, Rwanda’s Parliament is comprised of over 60% women, the highest percentage worldwide.
The 2019 SDG Gender Index examines gender focused issues and data under SDG 16 and provides a more complete picture of both the goal itself and its relationship to gender equality. Explore the included issues and indicators below.
Below is an overview of other important gender equality issues related to this SDG that are not currently reflected in the 2019 SDG Gender Index due to data gaps.
Despite the Kenya's progressive policy frameworks to improve gender equality and equity, girls and women still face discrimination.Read more
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 GBV.Read more
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.Read more
“Qualitative research about women’s perception of their safety and human security helped to make the link between violence against women and girls in conflict-affected contexts and violence against women and girls in communities not in conflict.”
“Men often do not believe that gender-based violence is “bad” in their own country; being able to provide recent data on the prevalence rate as well as the age groups tends to ‘shut down’ this pushback.”
“When you speak out on behalf of others, people will listen and it will prompt opportunities to make a small change. It is better to go out as a group, rather than as an individual. This is why I decided to focus on participation and social movements in the call for our rights.”
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