Although there has been progress in the last decades on the front of SDG 05, gender equality, and women’s rights, significant challenges remain and have even been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Below are some facts reflecting the size of problem we face worldwide according to UN Women:

  • Globally the pay gap between women and their male counterparts is 23%, with current pace of progress we are still 275 years away to close the gender gap (that’s 10 generations!)
  • More than 330 million girls and women live on less than 1.9 $/day, that’s 4.4 million more than men
  • In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working; in 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights; and 49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence
  • Women do 6 times the unpaid care and domestic work that men do
  • Women represent 8% of researchers worldwide
  • 1 in of 3 women experience violence during their lifetime
  • The proportion of women using the Internet is 12% lower than the proportion of men using the Internet worldwide, in Africa the gap is 25%, which means lower chances of employment for women. 
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And the list unfortunately goes on.

Educating women is not only a fair thing to do but according to top consulting firms, the UN Global Compact and World Economic Forum it is good for the economy, communities and business. A recent study shows that investing $1 in girls’ education in developing countries would yield $2.8 for the economy, in addition entering the workforce women can escape domestic violence.

Even though it is proven that women can play key role in peace building, sustainable development and economic prosperity, their representation in workforce and management roles is still staggeringly low.

  • Only 5.5% of most influential companies are led by women
  • Less than 1 percent of spending by large businesses on suppliers is earned by women-owned businesses
  • Female representation in company boards is 5% in OECD countries
  • Women occupy 38.1% of all manager positions in OECD countries (2018 OECD average data)

On the other hand, it is estimated that equal representation in the workforce would add $28 trillion GDP to the global economy by 2025. Women-led businesses financially outperform male dominated businesses, since “Women also more frequently apply three of the four types of behavior—intellectual stimulation, inspiration, and participative decision making—that most effectively address the global challenges of the future.” (Mckinsey, Diversity still matters 2020) If that’s not enough argument, diverse teams have also proven to be more innovative, anticipate consumer trends better and form stronger team cohesion, thus perform better.

So, could having more women in decision making roles be a solution for a just recovery from current crisis? Well the answer is obvious.

What can your company do to advance SDG 05, gender equality?

  • Prevent gender based discrimination and harassment with policies and regulations, unconscious bias trainings and transparency.
  • Support women’s employability, set targets for women ratio in leadership roles, provide flexible hours, support access to childcare and ensure equal pay.
  • Create products that are non-discriminatory, implement programs that support higher education of women especially from disadvantaged groups.
  • Take a stand for gender equality by signing and adopting the Women’s Empowerment Principles, a holistic framework to help tackling discrimination and empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and communities.

At last, browse through our Collective and find human rights and D&I experts from all over the world and book an initial conversations to help you with your specific need, like policy drafting, trainings and target setting.

Our e-book, “5 questions you should ask within your organization to support women and gender equality”

You can also download our e-book: “5 questions you should ask within your organization to support women and gender equality”.