Without speedy progress on gender equality and real action to end pervasive discrimination against women and girls, the global community will not be able to keep the promise to ‘leave no one behind’ on the road to ending poverty, protecting the planet and advancing prosperity by 2030, according to a new United Nations report launched on Wednesday.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Executive Director of UN Women said: “As a world, we committed through the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] to leave no one behind,” but the report reveals many areas where progress remains slow to achieve the Goals by 2030. Even where progress is made, it may not reach the women and girls who need it most and the ones that are being left furthest behind.”
The report points out that a girl born into poverty and forced into early marriage is more likely to drop out of school, give birth at an early age, suffer childbirth complications and experience violence – a scenario that encompasses all the SDGs. Moreover, new data in 89 countries reveals that there are 4.4 million more women than men living on less than $1.90 a day – much of which is explained by the disproportionate burden of unpaid care work women face, especially during their reproductive years.
“It’s a problem in all countries, developed, developing, north, south, east west,” Shahrashoub Razavi, UN Women’s Chief of Research and Data, told UN News. “We have a long way to go to achieve gender equality universally,” she added, calling it “a problem that stymies the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”