An Agenda for gender equality by 2030
Agreed by all UN Member States in 2015, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is the first global agreement on sustainable development with goals for all countries, both developing and developed. It aims at an ambitious shift in development to meet people’s rights and needs, while respecting our planet.
Critically important, the Agenda acknowledges that gender equality is a precondition to turning its transformative vision into reality. Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include one stand-alone goal on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls (SDG 5), and a second on reducing inequalities within and among countries. Targets under the gender equality goal guide countries to end all forms of discrimination and violence and ensure that women, in every sphere of life, have equal voices, choices, opportunities and access to resources, among other provisions. Eleven other goals—on topics as diverse as poverty eradication and employment, health, water and sanitation, just societies and sustainable cities—include targets explicitly related to achieving gender equality.
UN Women advocated prominently for gender equality and women’s empowerment at all stages leading to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and in support of Member States’ aspirations. We engaged with governments and other UN organizations to build early consensus around the gender equality goal, worked closely with women’s groups and civil society, and mobilized media and the public to lend broad support. We called for global recognition—now affirmed by Member States in the 2030 Agenda—that gender equality is a feasible accomplishment within the next 15 years.
Following adoption of the Agenda, the United Nations Statistical Commission agreed on a robust set of 230 unique indicators to monitor progress in achieving the SDGs. UN Women played a role as a convener, working with other UN agencies and consulting with global women’s rights civil society organizations to identify indicators that would reflect the ambitions of the goals. A quarter of the indicators address gender equality, covering core issues such as unpaid care and domestic work, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, land ownership and gender pay gaps.
As part of early moves to establish regional and subregional systems for tracking the SDGs, UN Women has already joined Caribbean countries in developing and rolling out the CARICOM Gender Equality Indicators Model. It will fill gaps in the collection of sex-disaggregated data and will be used to measure and steer consistent progress on health, education, leadership, economic opportunities and human rights.