Gender Equality

Articles, stories and news about gender.

Are women holding up Chinese and African skies?

In 1968, Chairman Mao might have proclaimed that women hold up half the sky, but it remains a sad fact that the majority of top African and Chinese politicians are still men. This is also the case for CEOs of state-owned and other large Chinese and African businesses. No woman has been president of any African country since Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stepped down last year, and in a recent study by the World Economic Forum (WEF), China was ranked 77th out of 144 countries in terms of female political representation, and 86th for economic participation and opportunity. Only eight sub-Saharan African countries featured overall in the top 50 of the same index. When I attended the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2015, which has been running since 2000 and tends to be a very government-...

Unpaid care and domestic work – a global challenge with local solutions

Read this very interesting blog by Clare Bishop, Senior Consultant for the OECD Policy Dialogue on Women’s Economic Empowerment, on OECD-Development Matters and learn more about the challenges of unpaid care and domestic work nowadays: https://oecd-development-matters.org/2018/03/14/unpaid-care-and-domestic-work-a-global-challenge-with-local-solutions/

Achieving Gender Equality and Female Empowerment: A Collaborative Vision of Sustainable Development Goal 5

 10 January 2018 – Tackling gender inequality is our shared responsibility, and is fundamental to   reaching a more just, peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world for all, United Nations Deputy   Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed said today as she opened the 2018 Vienna UN Conference. In a statement read out by the conference coordinator, Ms. Mohammed welcomed the focus at this       year’s gathering on Sustainable Development Goal 5, achieving gender equality and empowerment of   women and girls. The Organization would count on all to meet these shared objectives towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC’s Director of Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, highlighted some positive trends in the implementation o...

Expanding Women’s Leadership in Mongolian Politics and Business

For centuries, Mongolian women have played a central role in their society, holding positions of power ever since the Mongol Empire – hundreds of years before their counterparts in Europe, or elsewhere in Asia. Challenges Changes to the election law this year reduced the quota for female candidates to be nominated by political parties from 30% to 20%. Within the civil service sector, only 26.6% of State Secretaries are women. Only 56.6% of women active in Mongolia’s workforce, versus 69.3% of men Today, women remain integral to Mongolia’s economy, society and politics. In the home, they are often breadwinners, as well as caretakers. At work, they are increasingly influential, partly because they are often better educated, with more Mongolian girls completing school than boys. But partly al...

Closing gender gaps throughout the life course

Our choices and opportunities, from childhood to older-age, accumulate over the life course. Breaking patterns of inequality requires us to consider the full cycle of life and identify critical intervention periods and cumulative deprivations. Children who do not have access to early childhood education may not learn as efficiently later. Youth who have a limited education, may resort to informal work or be unemployed, which can later lead to an insufficient pension. Older people may suffer illnesses and disabilities brought on from past physical labour or insufficient preventive health care. Recent Human Development Reports have experimented with presenting data in a way that highlights the gaps in capabilities and opportunities between women and men from childhood through older age. The ...

Loans and energy-saving technology transform lives in rural Ethiopia

For Kimiyaa Umar, a 35-year-old mother of six, from the district of Meta in central Ethiopia, lack of money and knowledge on how to run a viable business restrained her from bettering life for herself and her family. That was the case until a year ago, when Umar received a 3,000 Birr (140USD) interest-free loan, along with entrepreneurship training through the UN Women-Joint Programme on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which has benefited over 19,500 women throughout Ethiopia. “We were selected to benefit from the programme for being the neediest. We had no capital or the knowledge on how to deal with business. Today, we are models in our village and many women have started to organize themselves by self-initiation,” said Umar, who leads a group of 13 women under the programme. Ki...

Evidence-based Human Development: Measuring the opportunity cost of teenage pregnancy in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a fast-growing economy with an average growth rate of around 5%, above the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) average of 2% over the last 10 years. In 2014 it moved up in human development category, from medium to high human development. Despite these changes, the DR has shown little progress in some key indicators of well-being. One of them is adolescent pregnancy – with 22% of women between the ages of 15-19 who have already become mothers. Importantly, this percentage has remained relatively unchanged over the last 30 years and is still 34% above the LAC average. Adolescent pregnancy is concentrated among the poor, affecting not only the opportunities for young mothers to escape from poverty and improve their human development levels, but also those of th...

Orange the World

Imagine a world without violence against women and girls. Imagine a world without violence. This is the world we want for all. But we have a ways to go to get there. Today our newspapers are full of troubling headlines – from domestic violence, to sexual harassment in the workplace and the use of rape as a weapon in war. Sexual and gender-based violence is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world. Yet it often goes unrecognized. UNDP is joining with other UN agencies in the #OrangeTheWorld campaign to end violence against women and girls. Together with activists around the world, we’re using the colour orange to call attention to the various forms of violence that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential. Gender-based violence damages mental and physical hea...

Women’s reproductive rights are human rights

The human development approach has long emphasized the importance of good health as a constitutive element that is both of intrinsic and instrumental value for an individual’s ability to thrive. Today, on the UN’s World Population Day, as global attention turns to the issue of family planning, it is important to underline the importance of safe and voluntary family planning services not only for individual health and wellbeing; for women’s empowerment and for prosperous communities and nations. Family planning has well-documented health benefits for mothers, newborns, families and communities. Pregnancies that occur too early or too late in a woman’s life, or that are spaced too closely, harm maternal health and increase the risk of prematurity and low birth weight. The ability to delay an...

Is gender equality destined to remain our perpetual aspirational dream?

The global record on gender equality remains mixed with progress on many fronts, but gaps remaining in others.The 2015 Human Development Report ‘Work for Human Development’, twenty years after the issue was first addressed in 1995 Human Development Report, testifies to this fact.   Progress has been made on many important counts (e.g. on primary education, political participation), as well as inertia and stagnation on others (e.g. employment, health). In the public domain, women are now represented in far greater numbers today than before – whether in elected office, or in the executive or judiciary. They have entered streams of work that were traditionally considered male bastions – breaking many stereotypes and expectations. When we look at global experience, education and employmen...

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