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Goal 5: Gender equality


Goal 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Illustration: The UN

Gender equality is a goal in itself and a prerequisite for sustainable and peaceful development. Gender equality is achieved when women, men, girls and boys have equal rights, conditions and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to the development of society. It is a matter of equitable distribution of power, influence and resources in society. The generally subordinate position of power of women and girls compared with men and boys must end.

All forms of violence against women and girls affect both the individual and society as a whole and are an obstacle to gender equality and development. Social norms and customs that sanction inequality and violence against women and girls must be changed. The uneven distribution of unpaid domestic and household work that exists between women and men is a major obstacle to the opportunities for women and girls being able to obtain an education and participating in the labour market and in society on the same terms as men and boys.

A society's prosperity increases when women and girls can contribute on the same terms as men and boys through their resources and knowledge. Tapping the abilities and initiative of women is an important driver of development. Poverty decreases and economic productivity and growth increase when women participate in the economy and the labour market, and have access to resources and functioning markets.


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

5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all 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