SDG and Gender Equality
The role of women in all strata of society cannot be overemphasized; hence the United Nations has been a strong advocate for women’s empowerment by availing them of equal opportunity as their male counterparts and enabling them to assume their rightful positions within the UN system and encouraging the Member States to outline policies and take measures seeking gender equality.
UN Secretary-General champions gender equality.
Secretary-General António Guterres took up his post in January 2017 with a commitment to achieve gender parity in senior positions at the U.N., and dozens of women have been named to key positions. Guterres pledged to appoint equal numbers of men and women to top posts at the U.N., which men across all professional levels have long dominated.
First female UN undersecretary-general for political and peace-building
Surveys show that now half of all senior leadership positions at the U.N. are women. Overall, women made up 41% of the U.N. system’s international staff in September 2020. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the U.N. has its first female undersecretary-general for political and peace-building affairs, the American diplomat Rosemary DiCarlo.
Gender equality is a prerequisite for a sustainable world
The United Nations considers gender equality a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world; hence gender equality is the 5th goal of the international body’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the United Nations, remarkable progress has been made on gender equality: More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women are serving in parliament and leadership positions, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.
Besides the adverse impact of COVID-19 in terms of exacerbating the existing inequalities, the UN admits that significant challenges remain, including discriminatory laws and social norms remain pervasive, women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership, and 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 report experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within 12 months.