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Without investment, gender equality will take nearly 300 years: UN report |


Research shows how gender disparities are worsening in the face of “tiered” global crises – such as COVID-19 pandemics, violent conflict and climate change – along with the backlash against women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

As a result, countries will not meet SDG5 by the end of 2030.

‘Reverse this trend’

Sima Bahous, Managing Director at UN Women.

“It is important that we must focus on investing in women and girls now to recover and accelerate progress. The data shows an undeniable setback in their lives made worse by global crises – in terms of income, safety, education and health. The longer it takes us to reverse this trend, the more expensive it will be for us.”

Gender snapshot 2022 report showcases how cooperation, partnership and investment are needed to move the world in the right direction.

Without swift action, legal systems that do not prohibit violence against women or protect their rights in marriage and family can continue to exist for generations to come.

The report warns that at the current rate of progress, it will take up to 286 years to close gaps in legal protection and eliminate discriminatory laws.

Most vulnerable

Furthermore, it will take 140 years for women to achieve equal representation in leadership positions in the workplace and another 40 years for the same to happen in national parliaments.

Meanwhile, to eliminate child marriage by 2030, progress will have to be 17 times faster than a decade ago, as girls come from the poorest rural households and in affected areas. by conflict is expected to be most affected.

“Pumping global crises are putting the achievement of the SDGs in jeopardy, with the world’s most vulnerable populations disproportionately affected, especially women and girls. Gender equality is fundamental to achieving all the SDGs and it should be at the heart of building a better back”, said Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General at UN DESA.

Extreme poverty on the rise

The report also highlights a worrying reversal in poverty reduction, with rising prices likely to exacerbate the situation.

By the end of this year, about 383 million women and girls will live in extreme poverty, compared with 368 million men and boys. Many others will have insufficient income to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and adequate shelter in most parts of the world.

According to the report, if current trends continue, more women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa will live in extreme poverty than they do today.

The February invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing war, are exacerbating food insecurity and hunger, especially among women and children. The war limited supplies of wheat, fertilizer and fuel, and pushed up inflation.

Many street food vendors lost their sole source of income as the COVID-19 shutdown shut down towns and cities in Thailand.

UN Women / Ploy Phutpheng

Many street food vendors lost their sole source of income as the COVID-19 shutdown shut down towns and cities in Thailand.

The power of education

Other amazing facts from the report show that globally, women have lost about $800 billion in income due to the pandemic. Despite the recovery, women’s participation in the job market is expected to decline this year to 50.8%, from 51.8% in 2021.

The report was released ahead of the Education Transformation Summit, which will convene on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month.

While it is not enough by itself, achieving universal education for girls will help promote gender equality.

Each year of tutoring can increase a girl’s future income by up to 20%, with further impacts on poverty reduction, better maternal health, lower child mortality, prevention of better fight HIV and reduce violence against women.



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