Ending all discrimination against women and girls not only supports their basic human rights, but is also crucial for a sustainable future. The empowerment of women is recognised as one of the best methods through which to achieve economic growth and sustainable development.
Recent years have seen considerable improvements in gender parity among global primary school enrollments, the percentage of girls continuing their studies after the age of 15 and the inclusion of women in labour markets. However, despite such achievements many inequalities persist today. Indeed, women continue to be systematically denied the same work rights as men, they are at significantly higher risk of sexual violence and exploitation, they face unequal divisions of unpaid care and domestic work, and experience more discrimination in the workforce than their male counterparts. In addition to such social barriers, issues of climate change and natural disasters continue to have a disproportionate effect on women and children, as do conflict and migration.
It is vital to give women equal rights land and property, sexual and reproductive health, and to technology and the internet. Today there are more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders will help achieve greater gender equality.