As described in my blog entry February 3rd, I am referring, on a weekly basis, to each of the SDGs: facts, targets, and how could companies be engaged. This week is about SDG#5 - Gender Equality, certainly one of the most trendy SDGs with many movements created (#metoo being the most visible) to support it and being one of thee most prioritised by Businesses and CEOs. Diversity and Inclusion (Gender being the most recognised priority) are very much top of Corporate Agendas.
As United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed in his message for International Women's Day “women’s empowerment and gender equality are essential to global progress”. This year UN considers “innovation by women and girls, for women and girls”, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.
Globally, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18 and at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM (female genital mutilation)
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.
One in five women and girls, including 19 per cent of women and girls aged 15 to 49, have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner with the last 12 months. Yet, 49 countries have no laws that specifically protect women from such violence.
While women have made important inroads into political office across the world, their representation in national parliaments at 23.7% is still far from parity.
Globally, women are just 13 per cent of agricultural land holders.
Targets: There are 9 targets. Targets and the indicators to track progress can be found here https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/
From a business perspective, it is a topic that all companies can help to address. Attracting more women to a firm, improving retention and promotion of female employees and reducing gender pay gaps are examples of best practices that companies must adopt. According to a recent Morgan Stanley report their research on the topic demonstrated that stocks with high gender diversity delivered better risk-adjusted stock returns.