Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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

While the world has made progress on gender equality and women's empowerment through the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education for boys and girls), women and girls continue to face discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but a necessary condition for a prosperous, sustainable and peaceful world. Ensuring women and girls equal access to education, medical care, decent work, as well as representation in decision-making, political and economic processes will promote sustainable economies, which will benefit societies and all of humanity.

Facts and figures

• About two-thirds of countries in developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education

• In 1990, in South Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for 100 boys. In 2012, enrollment rates were the same for girls and boys

• In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to accessing primary and secondary school

• In North Africa, women hold less than a fifth of paid jobs in non-agricultural sectors. The proportion of women in paid jobs outside the primary sector has increased from 35 % in 1990 to 41% in 2015

• In 46 countries, women hold over 30% seats in national parliaments in at least one chamber.


5.1 End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere

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

5.3 Eliminate all abusive practices such as arranged marriage, the phenomenon of child brides and female genital mutilation

5.4 Recognize and value care and unpaid domestic work, providing public service, infrastructure and social protection policies and promoting shared responsibilities within families, in accordance with national standards

5.5 Ensure full and effective participation of women 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 the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and documents produced at subsequent conferences

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

5.b Strengthen the use of enabling technologies, in particular information and communication technologies, to promote women's empowerment

5.c Adopt and enhance sound policy and enforceable legislation to promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, at all levels