Eliminating violence against women and girls is critical to ensuring well-being


The 2018 UN Women report entitled “Turning promises into Action :Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development  highlights that, the SDGs have the potential to bring about positive change for women and girls, but further action is needed to accelerate progress, address current blind spots and prevent backsliding.

In the report, UN Women says “Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is not only an explicit goal under the 2030 Agenda but also a driver of sustainable development in all its dimensions, from ending poverty and hunger, promoting prosperity and inclusive growth and building peaceful, just and inclusive societies to securing the protection of the planet and its natural resources.”

The report says that where women and girls are denied rights and opportunities, progress will inevitably falter and the 2030 Agenda as a whole will be in jeopardy.

Women and girls are half of the world’s population and as a result hold half of the world’s human potential. When their lives are improved, the benefits reverberate across society. Access to decent work and regular income in the hands of women; for example, contribute not only to poverty reduction but also support better education, health and nutrition outcomes for women and girls; and those who depend on them.

The report says  “eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls is not only an essential component of SDG 5 (Gender equality) but also critical to ensuring healthy lives and well-being for people of all ages.”

“Women subjected to sexual or physical intimate partner violence are  1.5 times as likely to become infected with HIV.”Says the report.

They are also almost twice as likely to experience depression and alcohol use disorders. The health consequences of violence against women and girls extend to their children, who may witness the abuse and suffer long-term trauma that impacts their physical, emotional and social development. Therefore gender equality is indispensable to the success of all the goals.

Gender towards transformative vision 2030

The research done by UNWomen  shows  how gender  equality is a key element  in achieving SDGs .In a detailed manner Valuenews.info will publish in series the relationship between Gender and  each of the SDGs  referring to the report but here is  a summary .

SDG 1: Research shows that“more cash in the hands of women contributes not only to eliminating poverty but also to better education, nutrition and health outcomes for children and other members of the household”

SDG 2:Women play a critical role in food production, processing and distribution and are therefore essential to meeting the agricultural productivity and nutrition targets of Goal 2.

SDG 3: Gender equality in health is one of the most direct and potent ways to reduce health inequities overall and to achieve Goal 3.

SDG 4:Achieving equality in education will boost women’s employment and empowerment, add to economic growth and contribute positively to child well-being and development.

SDG 5: Gender equality is central to the SDGs, and if it is not achieved, the implementation of all the goals will be compromised

SDG :6 Women and girls play a central role in the provision, management and safeguarding of household water and sanitation. Addressing the water and sanitation needs of women benefits the health and well-being of entire communities

SDG 7: As primary energy managers in households, women can play a powerful role in the successful transition to sustainable energy for all

SDG 8: Women’s access to decent work is an essential measure of inclusive and sustainable growth.

SDG 9: Increasing women’s participation in technology, science and innovation is critical for meeting the global challenges ahead.

SDG 10 Gender equality is crucially linked with overall equality in society.

SDG 11: Women have equal rights to the city, and their safety in public spaces is crucial for sustainable urbanization.

SDG 12: Unsustainable production and consumption patterns are gendered, with women suffering disproportionately from resource scarcity and natural disasters resulting from climate change.

SDG 13: Gender equality is critical to mitigate climate impacts: Women’s inclusion in climate discussions leads to improved outcomes of climate-related projects and policies

SDG 14: Empowering women in local fisheries decision-making leads to better resource governance and conservation.

SDG 15: Women’s specific knowledge of and dependence on forests makes them key contributors to forest conservation and regeneration.

SDG 16: Women play a vital role in preventing conflict and forging and maintaining peace. By fully protecting women’s rights, peaceful and inclusive societies will be within reach.

SDG 17: Mobilizing sufficient resources will be critical for meeting the gender equality commitments of the 2030 Agenda.

Unless progress on gender equality is accelerated, the global community will not only fail to achieve SDG 5(Gender Equality), it will also forgo the catalytic effect that gender equality can have for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda more broadly. The review shows that across countries and regions, women and girls face tremendous structural barriers that impact all aspects of their lives. Eliminating gender-specific constraints, as well as other forms of discrimination with which they intersect, is hence critical.

 Valentin UMUHIRE 

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