Gender inequalities often determine who suffers the heaviest burden of disease and who can access healthcare, with women’s health undermined by gender-based violence (GBV), lack of control over household resources, and unpaid and unhealthy work. Girls and women cooking on open fires in their homes, for example, breathe in pollutants that contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.
They face gender-specific health risks, including female genital mutilation (FGM), and complications during pregnancy and childbirth such as obstetric fistula.
Girls and women are not only more vulnerable to health problems – they also have less access to healthcare. In some communities, medical treatment for girls and women is not a priority. Women bear a disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work – including caring for the sick.
Unpaid care work is thought to cost around 13% of global GDP each year ($10 trillion).
When girls and women have good prenatal care and safe birthing facilities, infant mortality rates fall and child health improves. Investment in adolescent girls’ health increases their chances of finishing secondary school and of finding productive work.
And ending the disproportionate burden of poor health on girls and women would enhance progress on education, gender equality and economic growth (SDGs 4, 5 and 8).
The 2019 SDG Gender Index examines gender focused issues and data under SDG 3 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
“I am gathering information on the number of young girls who have started their menstrual cycle in my community, and how many of those girls have access to – and can afford – menstruation pads. I then pass that information on to the ASHA (social health activist) to ensure the health centres can be adequately stocked.”
Girls and young women account for 71% of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa—representing the fastest growing demographic of new HIV infections globally.
About 16 million girls aged between 15 and 19 give birth each year.
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