While some forms of discrimination against women and girls are diminishing, gender inequality continues to hold women back and deprives them of basic rights and opportunities. Empowering women requires addressing structural issues such as unfair social norms and attitudes as well as developing progressive legal frameworks that promote equality between women and men.
- Based on 2005–2016 data from 56 countries, 20 percent of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 who have ever been in a sexual relationship experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to the survey.
- Globally, around 2017, an estimated 21 percent of women between 20 and 24 years of age reported that they were married or in an informal union before age 18. This means that an estimated 650 million girls and women today were married in childhood. Rates of child marriage have continued to decline around the world. In Southern Asia, a girl’s risk of marrying in childhood has dropped by over 40 percent since around 2000.
- Around 2017, one in three girls aged 15 to 19 had been subjected to female genital mutilation in the 30 countries where the practice is concentrated, compared to nearly one in two around 2000.
- Based on data between 2000 and 2016 from about 90 countries, women spend roughly three times as many hours in unpaid domestic and care work as men.
- Globally, the percentage of women in single or lower houses of national parliament has increased from 19 percent in 2010 to around 23 percent in 2018.
Source: Report of the Secretary-General, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
Facts and figures
*About two-thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education
*In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990. By 2012, the enrolment ratios were the same for girls as for boys.
*In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
*Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector. The proportion of women in paid employment outside the agriculture sector has increased from 35 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2015
*In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of seats in the national parliament in at least one chamber.
Goal 5 targets
*End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
*Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
*Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
*Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure, and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
*Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life
*Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
*Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
*Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
*Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
Here are three quick facts to get you PUMPED about this national month!
1. National Women’s History Month can trace its roots back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions.
2. In 1987, the National Women's History Project (NWHP) helped lead a campaign to launch Women's History Month, a time designated for recognizing accomplishments made by women over time.
3. The first Women's Day Celebration in the United States was also in New York City in 1909, but Congress did not establish National Women's History Week until 1981 to be commemorated annually the second week of March.
The issue in 1857 was poor working conditions that triggered the establishment of this month. Now, what do YOU think the key issues are for women today?
Many more people today are living healthier lives than in the past decade. Nevertheless, people are still suffering needlessly from preventable diseases, and too many are dying prematurely. Overcoming disease and ill health will require concerted and sustained efforts, focusing on population groups and regions that have been neglected.
Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health
- The maternal mortality ratio has declined by 37 percent since 2000. Nevertheless, in 2015, 303,000 women around the world died due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Over the period 2012–2017, almost 80 percent of live births worldwide occurred with the assistance of skilled health personnel, up from 62 percent in 2000–2005.
- Globally, from 2000 to 2016, the under-5 mortality rate dropped by 47 percent, and the neonatal mortality rate fell by 39 percent. Over the same period, the total number of under-5 deaths dropped from 9.9 million to 5.6 million.
- Even in the region facing the greatest health challenges, progress has been impressive. Since 2000, the maternal mortality ratio in sub-Saharan Africa has been reduced by 35 percent, and the under-5 mortality rate has dropped by 50 percent.
- In 2018, the global adolescent birth rate is 44 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19, compared to 56 in 2000. The highest rate (101) is found in sub-Saharan Africa.
Infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases
- Globally, the incidence of HIV declined from 0.40 to 0.26 per 1,000 uninfected people between 2005 and 2016. For women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa, however, the rate is much higher, at 2.58 per 1,000 uninfected people.
- In 2016, 216 million cases of malaria were reported versus 210 million cases in 2013. There were 140 new cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people in 2016 compared to 173 cases per 100,000 in 2000. Hepatitis B prevalence declined among children under 5— from 4.7 percent in the pre-vaccine era to 1.3 percent in 2015.
- In 2016, 1.5 billion people were reported to require mass or individual treatment and care for neglected tropical diseases, down from 1.6 billion in 2015 and 2 billion in 2010.
- Unsafe drinking water, unsafe sanitation and lack of hygiene continue to be major contributors to global mortality, resulting in about 870,000 deaths in 2016. These deaths were mainly caused by diarrhoeal diseases, but also from malnutrition and intestinal nematode infections.
- Globally, 32 million people died in 2016 due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease. The probability of dying from these causes was about 18 percent in 2016 for people between 30 and 70 years of age.
- In 2016, household and outdoor air pollution led to some 7 million deaths worldwide.
Health systems and funding
- Globally, almost 12 percent of the world’s population (over 800 million people) spent at least one-tenth of their household budgets to pay for health services in 2010, up from 9.7 percent in 2000.
- Official development assistance (ODA) for basic health from all donors increased by 41 percent in real terms since 2010, reaching $9.4 billion in 2016.
- Available data from 2005 to 2016 indicate that close to 45 percent of all countries and 90 percent of least developed countries (LDCs) have less than one physician per 1,000 people, and over 60 percent have fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people.
Source: Report of the Secretary-General, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018Read more
The sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 11 to 22 March 2019.
Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are expected to attend the session.
- Priority theme: Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls;
- Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session);
The Bureau of the Commission plays a crucial role in facilitating the preparation for, and in ensuring the successful outcome of the annual sessions of the Commission. Bureau members serve for two years. In 2002, in order to improve its work and ensure continuity, the Commission decided to hold the first meeting of its subsequent session, immediately following the closure of the regular session, for the sole purpose of electing the new Chairperson and other members of the Bureau (ECOSOC decision 2002/234).
The Bureau for the 63rd session (2019) of the Commission on the Status of Women comprises the following members:
- H.E. Ms. Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland), Chair (Western European and other States Group)
- Ms. Koki Muli Grignon (Kenya), Vice-Chair (African States Group)
- Mr. Mauricio Carabali Baquero (Colombia), Vice-Chair (Latin American and Caribbean States Group)
- Ms. Rena Tasuja (Estonia), Vice-Chair (Eastern European States Group)
- Mr. Mohammed S. Marzooq (Iraq), Vice-Chair designate (Asia-Pacific States Group)
Expert Group Meeting: Social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality
In preparation for the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women will convene an Expert Group Meeting on the priority theme: “Social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality” in New York, 13 to 15 September 2018.
Organization of the session
The Commission's two-weeks session will include the following activities:
CSW63 Draft Agreed Conclusions
- Modalities of NGO participation
- Opportunities for NGOs to address the Commission
Source: UN WomenRead more
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
The SDGs build on decades of work by countries and the UN, including the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
- In June 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, more than 178 countries adopted Agenda 21, a comprehensive plan of action to build a global partnership for sustainable development to improve human lives and protect the environment.
- Member States unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. The Summit led to the elaboration of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.
- The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation, adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa in 2002, reaffirmed the global community's commitments to poverty eradication and the environment and built on Agenda 21 and the Millennium Declaration by including more emphasis on multilateral partnerships.
- At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012, Member States adopted the outcome document "The Future We Want" in which they decided, inter alia, to launch a process to develop a set of SDGs to build upon the MDGs and to establish the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The Rio +20 outcome also contained other measures for implementing sustainable development, including mandates for future programmes of work in development financing, small island developing states and more.
- In 2013, the General Assembly set up a 30-member Open Working Group to develop a proposal on the SDGs.
- In January 2015, the General Assembly began the negotiation process on the post-2015 development agenda. The process culminated in the subsequent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 SDGs at its core, at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
- 2015 was a landmark year for multilateralism and international policy shaping, with the adoption of several major agreements:
- Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (March 2015)
- Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (July 2015)
- Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 SDGs was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summitin New York in September 2015.
- Paris Agreement on Climate Change (December 2015)
- Now, the annual High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development serves as the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the SDGs.
Today, the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) provides substantive support and capacity-building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and Small Island Developing States. DSDG plays a key role in the evaluation of UN systemwide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and on advocacy and outreach activities relating to the SDGs. In order to make the 2030 Agenda, a reality, broad ownership of the SDGs must translate into a strong commitment by all stakeholders to implement the global goals. DSDG aims to help facilitate this engagement.
Source: UN SGDs Knowledge Platform