Gender equality

 Gender equality


Gender equality refers to equal rights, opportunities, and treatment for all individuals regardless of their gender. Gender equality is an essential issue that has been recognized globally as a human right. Gender-based discrimination has been present in societies for centuries, and while progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to achieve full gender equality. In this article, we will discuss the importance of gender equality, the progress made so far, the challenges, and the way forward.

Why Gender Equality Matters:

Gender equality matters for several reasons. Firstly, it is a human right. Every individual, regardless of gender, should have access to the same opportunities and rights. Gender-based discrimination and violence are violations of human rights and should not be tolerated. Secondly, gender equality is necessary for economic growth and development. Gender inequality limits economic growth by excluding half of the population from contributing to the economy. According to McKinsey Global Institute, closing the gender gap in the workforce could add $28 trillion to the global GDP by 2025. Thirdly, gender equality is crucial for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender equality is not only a goal in itself (SDG 5), but it is also necessary for achieving other goals such as reducing poverty, improving health, and achieving peace and justice.

Progress Made So Far:

There has been significant progress made in advancing gender equality in recent decades. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, the global gender gap has closed by 68% since 2006. The report also notes that 156 countries have improved their gender gap score since 2006. There has been progressing in several areas, including education, health, and political representation.


Education is a key factor in promoting gender equality. According to UNESCO, the global gender gap in primary education has almost closed, with 98.7% of girls in developing countries completing primary school. The gender gap in secondary education has also narrowed, with 90.5% of girls completing secondary school. However, there is still a significant gender gap in tertiary education, with only 41.5% of women enrolled in tertiary education compared to 53.7% of men.


There has been significant progress in improving women's health, with a decrease in maternal mortality rates and an increase in access to family planning. The World Health Organization reports that maternal mortality rates have decreased by 38% since 2000. Access to family planning has also improved, with 80% of women aged 15-49 having access to modern contraception.

Political Representation:

There has been progressing in increasing women's political representation globally. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the global average of women in parliament has increased from 22.5% in 2010 to 25.5% in 2021. Several countries have made significant progress in this area, with women holding over 50% of seats in the parliaments of Rwanda and Bolivia.


Despite the progress made, there are still several challenges to achieving gender equality. Gender-based discrimination and violence are still prevalent, and women and girls continue to face barriers to accessing education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Gender-based Violence:

Gender-based violence is a significant barrier to achieving gender equality. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women globally has experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Gender-based violence can have severe consequences for women's health and well-being and can limit their ability to participate fully in society.

Economic Empowerment:

Economic empowerment is crucial for achieving gender equality. However, women continue to face barriers to accessing economic opportunities, including gender pay gaps, occupational segregation, and limited access to finance.

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