The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 5

SDG 5Goal Five: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

SDG Five, as with the previous SDGs, is the follow-up to one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In this case MDG Three, whose wording was only slightly different from this SDG: “Promote gender equality and empower women.” As with the previously discussed goals, this goal aims to take a more broad approach to the issue presented in the MDGs through its inclusion of girls, but also by mentioning more specific instances of gender disparity than in education such as forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and sexual exploitation.

Africa has made progress towards closing the gender gap in primary education and increasing literacy levels for women and girls. The success has been similar in increasing women’s participation in political spaces and society, evidenced by a higher share of women in national parliaments in Africa. Progress in the non-agricultural wage employment sector, however, has remained limited, and trends are difficult to monitor due to the lack of data in this area, according to the UN MDG Report for 2015.

Proposed Targets:

5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and all everywhere

5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

5.a Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

5.c Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

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