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A new global assessment of progress on gender equality and women’s rights shows that women and girls are disproportionately affected by the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and suffer disproportionately, such as high unemployment and loss of livelihood , disruption of education and increasing burden of unpaid care work. Women’s health services, which were underfunded even before the pandemic, are facing major disruptions, undermining women’s sexual and reproductive health. And despite women’s central role in the COVID-19 response, including as frontline health workers, they are still largely passed over for the leadership positions they deserve.
The latest report from UN Women, in collaboration with UN DESA, Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2021 presents the latest data on gender equality for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report highlights the progress made since 2015, as well as the ongoing alarm about the COVID-19 pandemic, its immediate impact on women’s well-being and the threat it poses to future generations.
Effects Of Gender Equality
A year and a half since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the toll on the poor and most vulnerable remains devastating and disproportionate. The combined effects of conflict, extreme weather and COVID-19 have deprived women and girls of even basic necessities such as food security. Without urgent action to halt rising poverty, hunger and inequality, especially in countries affected by conflict and other extreme crises, millions of people will continue to suffer.
What Does Gender Equality Look Like Today?
By 2021, extreme poverty will increase and progress towards its eradication will have been reversed. Worldwide, an estimated 435 million women and girls live in extreme poverty.
By 2030, more than 150 million women and girls could be lifted out of poverty if governments implement a comprehensive strategy to improve access to education and family planning, achieve equal pay and expand social transfers.
The global gender gap in food security has increased dramatically during the pandemic, with more women and girls going hungry. Women’s food insecurity was 10 percent higher than men’s in 2020, compared to 6 percent higher in 2019.
, including supporting small female producers, who often earn less than men, through increased funding, training and land rights reform.
White Paper: Gender Inequality—how Covid 19 Impacted Women
Disruptions to essential health services due to COVID-19 are taking a tragic toll on women and girls. In the first year of the pandemic, there were an estimated 1.4 million additional unintended pregnancies in low- and middle-income countries.
Pandemic response should include prioritizing sexual and reproductive health services so that they can continue to function safely now and after the pandemic is over. In addition, more support is needed to ensure that life-saving personal protective equipment, tests, oxygen and especially vaccines are available to rich and poor countries and to vulnerable populations in the country.
A year and a half after the pandemic, schools remain partially or completely closed in 42 percent of the world’s countries and territories. School closures mean missed opportunities for girls and an increased risk of violence, exploitation and early marriage.
Measures specifically aimed at supporting girls to go back to school are urgently needed, including measures targeting girls from marginalized communities most at risk.
Family Planning And The Gendered Impacts Of Crises On Women: An Effective Tool Across Sectors To Support Women’s Empowerment And Build Resilience To Shocks
The pandemic has tried and reversed progress in expanding women’s rights and opportunities. Reports of violence against women and girls, a “shadow” pandemic in the COVID-19, are increasing in many parts of the world. COVID-19 is also intensifying women’s work at home, forcing many to stop working altogether.
Moving forward differently and better depends on putting women and girls at the center of all aspects of response and recovery, including through gender-sensitive laws, policies and budgeting.
In 2018, nearly 2.3 billion people live in countries with water. Without safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and menstrual facilities, it is more difficult for women and girls to lead safe, productive and healthy lives.
The increased demand for clean energy and low-carbon solutions is driving an unprecedented transformation of the energy sector. But women are excluded. Women hold only 32 percent of renewable energy jobs.
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Expose girls early to STEM education, provide training and support to women entering the energy sector, close the pay gap and increase women’s leadership in the energy sector.
The number of working women decreased by 54 million in 2020 and 45 million women left the labor market in total. Women suffered more job losses than men, along with a greater burden of unpaid care at home.
Ensure decent work for all, implement labor laws/reforms, remove legal barriers to married women entering the labor market, support access to affordable/quality childcare.
The COVID-19 crisis has led to remarkable breakthroughs in medical research and innovation. The contribution of women is significant. But just over a third of science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates are women.
Sixteen Defining Moments For Gender Equality In 2022
Quotas that make it compulsory to allocate part of the research grants to teams led by women or teams with women are a concrete way to support female researchers.
Limited progress for women is being undermined by the pandemic. Women who face multiple forms of discrimination, including women and girls with disabilities, migrant women and women who are discriminated against because of their race/ethnicity, are particularly affected.
Commit to ending racism and discrimination in all its forms, invest in inclusive, universal, gender-sensitive social protection systems that support all women.
Worldwide, more than 1 billion people live in informal settlements and slums. Women and girls, who are often overrepresented in these densely populated areas, suffer from a lack of access to basic water and sanitation, health care and transportation.
Lessons From The Covid 19 Frontline For A More Gender Equal World
Women activists, scientists and researchers are working to solve the climate crisis, but often do not have the same platforms as men to share their knowledge and skills. Only 29 percent of speakers at international ocean science conferences are women.
Ensure that women activists, scientists and researchers have an equal voice, representation and access to forums where these issues are discussed and debated.
The lack of women in decision-making limits the reach and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other disaster recovery efforts. In conflict-affected countries, 18.9 percent of parliament seats are held by women, less than the global average of 25.6 percent.
There are only 9 years left to reach the Global Goals by 2030, and gender equality will be breached in all 17. With COVID-19 slowing progress on women’s rights, now is the time to act.
Why Evaluation Matters For Gender Equality
Currently, only one indicator under the Global Goal for Gender Equality (SDG5) is ‘close to target’: the share of women’s seats in local government. In other areas critical to women’s empowerment, equality in time spent on unpaid care and domestic work and decision-making about sexual and reproductive health is far from the goal. Without a bold commitment to accelerate development, the global community will fail to achieve gender equality. To move forward differently and better, women and girls must be put at the center of all aspects of response and recovery, including through gender-sensitive laws, policies and budgeting.
Address the interconnected crises of care, jobs and the environment to deliver on the promise of the SDGs, experts at the High-Level Political Forum say Women and girls make up half of the world’s population; their empowerment is essential to increase economic growth and promote social development in a sustainable way.
Gender inequality remains a daily reality for women and girls in the world. It can start from the moment of birth and continue throughout a woman’s life.
Despite significant advances in recent history, women in all countries and at all socioeconomic levels of society may face various forms of unfair treatment, including discrimination, harassment, domestic violence and sexual abuse. Other abuses that are particularly prevalent in some countries or cultural contexts include forced marriages, honor killings, denial of education, denial of land and property rights, and lack of access to work and health care.
The Level Of Gender Equality In Indonesia Is Still Low, Here’s The Explanation
It is estimated that 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced sexual or physical violence at home, in her community and/or at work.
Women may experience human rights violations at various points in their professional lives, including during recruitment, hiring, promotion and termination processes, as well as in day-to-day interactions with colleagues and supervisors.
Outside of the workplace, women are often particularly vulnerable to the social and environmental impacts of business activities. In many developing countries, for example, women and girls are mainly responsible for collecting and delivering water. When business activities contaminate local resources, they carry the burden of walking, often for hours, to the nearest substitute, leaving them unable to work or attend school.
According to the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women), gender refers to “the social characteristics and opportunities associated with being a man and a woman and the relationships between women and men and women and men, as well as relationships between women and between men. These characteristics, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and learned through socialization processes.”
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Furthermore, gender equality “refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and women and men, whether born male or female.”
Girls and women make up half of the
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