UNDERSTANDING THE SDGS – GOAL 5. By Israel Fugah

“It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals” – Emma Watson

Gender issues continue to be a major challenge, especially in the African communities both at subtle and revealing levels of human relations. The aim of this goal is geared towards ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere and also to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation.

Interesting Facts To Note

It would interest you to know that according to the UN, SDG 5 will not only empower women across the globe but also determine the achievement of the other Goals!

49 countries still lack laws protecting women from domestic violence

Based on data from 87 countries, 1 in 5 women and girls under the age of 50 will have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months.

At least, 200 million girls and women have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation.

47% of homicide victims have been women who were killed by their partners.

Progress Made So Far

There has been progress over the last decades: More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women are serving in parliament and positions of leadership, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.

In Southern Asia, girls’ risk of marrying under 18years has decreased by 40% since 2000.

Over the last three decades, FGM rates have declined by 30% but progress has not been universal.

The proportion of women in management has increased since 2000 in all regions except in least developed countries.

MTW’s Involvement In Achieving Goal 5

A typical Get Global Session on Gender Equality is targeted at ensuring that each youth appreciates and understands the similarities and differences of others. Also, we want to be able to understand real life situations where such cases are prevalent and also know the initial thoughts of gender equality among the youth.

Leveraging on entertaining but insightful activities such as Diversity Circle, Pick It Up, Lines of Communication and Magic Boots, MTW is building the capacity of the youth to be aware of the beauty of diversity among themselves, promoting self awareness, team work and effective communication.

MTW puts in extensive amount of time and other resources in training facilitators like myself to be very conscious about this Goal and its many associated cases.

State of Goal 5 During COVID19

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights. The coronavirus outbreak exacerbates existing inequalities for women and girls across every sphere – from health and the economy, to security and social protection.

What Must Be Done To Achieve Goal 5

Better iscriminatory laws need to change and aggressive legislation adopted to proactively advance equality.

The private sector must be engaged in rolling out equal opportunities and treatment for girls and women at the corporate places.

Grant and Fund agencies should work more with institutions like Move The World who have real experience on the grounds when it comes Community sensitization interventions.

At the individual level, I would encourage everyone of us to be very mindful how we treat the opposite sex. Join institutions that are spearheading such initiatives so as to learn more yourself.

In conclusion

Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres.

And it starts with you and I. Always fill your heart with love and respond with care to the other. If you are in authority, do not look down or judge the other simply because of their gender. Learn to understand and appreciate others by who they are and not by their natural makeup.

Reference links

https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/women-and-the-sdgs/sdg-5-gender-equality

https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/multimedia/2017/7/infographic-spotlight-on-sdg-5

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality

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