More than half of humanity is female, yet women and girls are still underrepresented – or even excluded - in many parts of society.
Ensuring gender equality at all levels of development is at the very heart of human rights and is a moral duty. It also provides a vital lever for prosperity, offering a vast boost to the economy. Gender balanced workplaces result in increased labour productivity and innovation, higher returns and a greater ability to attract and retain talent. And gender equality is essential if global challenges like climate change and healthcare are to be addressed in sustainable and inclusive ways.
How do we tackle gender inequality? Education is a start: more girls than boys remain out of school worldwide, and the overwhelming majority of adults who lack basic literacy skills are women. Hinderances to women’s advancement include gender stereotyping and discriminatory social and cultural norms, sexual and gender based violence, violation of their sexual and reproductive health and rights, limited access to affordable childcare of good quality, and lack of equal employment of opportunities and social protection and lack of voice and participation in decision making, among others. Specific gender and rights bases approach responsive policies are needed across the board to tackle discrimination and break the glass ceiling in all spheres.