United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development
Goals
5

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Targets and Indicators

Target

5.1

End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.1.1

Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non‑discrimination on the basis of sex

Target

5.2

Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.2.1

Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age

5.2.2

Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age and place of occurrence

Target

5.3

Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

5.3.1

Proportion of women aged 20-24 years who were married or in a union before age 15 and before age 18

5.3.2

Proportion of girls and women aged 15-49 years who have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting, by age

Target

5.4

Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

5.4.1

Proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work, by sex, age and location

Target

5.5

Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life

5.5.1

Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments

5.5.2

Proportion of women in managerial positions

Target

5.6

Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

5.6.1

Proportion of women aged 15-49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care

5.6.2

Number of countries with laws and regulations that guarantee full and equal access to women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education

Target

5.a

Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

5.a.1

(a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

5.a.2

Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control

Target

5.b

Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

5.b.1

Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex

Target

5.c

Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

5.c.1

Proportion of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment

Progress and Info

The world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030 and has been pushed further off track by the socioeconomic fallout of the pandemic. Women and girls remain disproportionately affected, struggling with lost jobs and livelihoods, derailed education, increased burdens of unpaid care work and domestic violence. Over 100 million women aged 25-54, with small children at home, are out of the workforce globally in 2020, including the more than 2 million who left the labour force due to the increased pressures of unpaid care work. Women's health services faced major disruptions and undermined women's sexual and reproductive health. And despite women's effective and inclusive leadership in responding to COVID-19, they are excluded from decision-making positions. Further, many countries do not have comprehensive systems to track budgets for gender equality, limiting the allocation of public resources for implementation of laws and policies. Efforts must be strengthened to ensure laws, policies, budgets and institutions advance gender equality.

Discriminatory laws and legal gaps continue to prevent women from enjoying their human rights. Based on 2020 data from 95 countries and territories, more than half lacked quotas for women in the national parliament; while 83% included budgetary commitments to implement legislation addressing violence against women, 63% continued to lack laws defining rape based on the principle of consent. Although over 90% mandate nondiscrimination based on gender in employment, almost half continued to restrict women from working in certain jobs or industries; and almost a quarter of countries did not grant women equal rights with men to enter marriage and initiate divorce.

Violence against women and girls is prevalent across countries and affects women of all ages. Globally, over 1 in 4 (26%) ever-partnered women aged 15 years and older, that is 641 million women, have been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner at least once in their lifetime in 2018. Data on violence experienced by older women, including on specific forms such as being restrained, being ostracized or neglected, is urgently needed but remains largely unavailable. Only less than 10% of eligible data on intimate partner violence captures the prevalence of this violence against women aged 50 and older.

One in five young women worldwide (19%) were married in childhood in 2021. Child marriage is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where progress has been modest, followed by South Asia, which has achieved greater declines. Globally, the prevalence of child marriage has declined by about 10% in the past five years. However, the profound effects of COVID-19 are threatening this progress, with up to 10 million additional girls at risk of child marriage in the next decade because of the pandemic.

The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) has proved remarkably tenacious, despite efforts spanning nearly a century to eliminate it. At least 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to FGM, based on the latest available data from 31 countries, where the practice is concentrated. Nevertheless, several countries have seen some declines in the practice compared to 30 years ago. 

On an average day, women spend about 2.5 times as many hours on unpaid domestic work and care work as men, according to the latest data from 90 countries and areas collected between 2001 and 2019. 

As of 1 January 2022, the global share of women in lower and single houses of national parliaments reached merely 26.2%, up from 25.6% in 2021. Women’s share is slight over one third in local governments (in 135 countries with data). Well-designed legislated gender quotas, zero tolerance for violence against women in politics, and gender-sensitive and safer political environments are key to fast-track and sustain women’s equal representation in decision-making. 

Working women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They accounted for 39.4% of total employment before the pandemic in 2019, but made up nearly 45% of global employment losses in 2020. The share of women in managerial positions worldwide has shown only a slight improvement over the last two decades, rising from 25.3% in 2000 to 28.3% in 2019, and remained unchanged in 2020.

Based on data from 64 countries for 2007-2020, only 57% of married or in-union women aged 15 to 49 make their own decisions regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights. While women seem to have the most autonomy in deciding to use contraception, with 92% empowered, only three in four women can decide on their own health care or say no to sex.

Among the 115 countries with data in 2022, countries have in place, on average, 76% of the laws and regulations needed to guarantee full and equal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, strongest in terms of enabling laws and regulations is HIV and HPV (81%), followed by contraceptive services (76%), maternity care (74%), and sexuality education (65%).

Available data from 36 countries for 2009-2020 show that, in 30 countries, less than 50% of women have ownership and/or secure tenure rights over agricultural land. In 18 countries, the corresponding share of men was twice as high. In addition, the share of men among landowners reaches over 70% in 9 countries; and only in 8 countries, women had a higher share than men among the landowners.

Data available from 52 countries for 2019-2021 reveal that about 46% of legal frameworks offer limited protection of women’s land rights, while nearly 25% offer medium levels of guarantees. Only 29% of reporting countries include enough provisions in their legal frameworks offering good protection of women’s rights to land. The most prominent areas in which positive results have been achieved are in succession rights (64% of the countries) and in protection of being disposed in land transactions (56% requiring spousal consent). By contrast, joint land registration and protection of women’s land rights when customary law is legally recognized continue to be a concern in many countries.

Ownership of mobile phones has been shown to be an important tool to empower women. In 30 of 70 countries with data for 2017-2021, gender parity in mobile phone ownership has been achieved, and in 13 more countries, more women than men own a mobile phone.

Socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 requires effective and gender responsive public finance management systems. Based on data reported by 105 countries and areas for 2018-2021, 26% of countries globally have comprehensive systems in place to track and make public allocations for gender equality, 59% have some features of a system in place, and 15% do not have the minimum elements of these systems.

Source: Report of the Secretary-General, Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals- E/2022