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SDG 5 : Gender Equality

“While I may be the first women in this office, I will not be the last,”

The US vice president Kamala Harris made a statement in her speech after she became the first lady vice president in American history, giving us major leadership and women empowerment goals. On the contrary, a country like the USA had to wait for 244 years to get their first lady vice-president that shows the extent of cultural, socio-economic, and political stigma around the world that involves women and their place in society.

In this blog, we will be talking about the 5th SDG that talks about gender equality that aims at achieving gender equality and empowerment of all girls and women around the globe. Gender equality is necessary for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.

Women are equally capable of managing all the responsibilities that men can. In the 21st century, women are efficiently managing all the responsibilities that men can, they are the CEOs, the president, the prime minister, an entrepreneur, a teacher, a housewife, a doctor, an economist and what not! They are excelling in all walks of life!

Over the past few decades, more girls are enrolled in school, there is a decline in the number of child marriages. The laws are stricter now and they are being reformed to advance gender equality. Despite all these changes and improvements, in many parts of the world, there is still a stigma around women’s position in society and political leadership. According to sources, every 1 in 5 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within 12 months.

The impact of COVID 19 has resulted in increased domestic violence against women in various parts of the world. While on the other hand, women are on the front line of fighting the coronavirus, which accounts for 70% of health and social workers. Women bear additional household burdens during the pandemic; on average, they spend about three times as many hours in unpaid domestic and care work compared to men.

Targets of the SDG 5

1) End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

2) Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres.

3) Eliminate all harmful practices such as child marriage, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation.

4) Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work.

5) Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership.

6) Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

7) Equal rights to economic resources and access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial assets, etc.

8) Enhance the use of enabling technology to promote the empowerment of women.

9) 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.

India and SDG 5

India has achieved gender equality at the primary education level, it is on track to achieve gender equality at all education levels. The political participation at the central level has reached only 11% but at the local level, it has almost reached 46%.

Despite all these results, domestic violence and violence in public places remains a major problem. In the national capital, around 92% of women had experienced some form of sexual violence in public spaces during their lifetime. In 2016, every third crime against women in India was cruelty or physical violence by her husband or her relative.

The government of India has come up with different strategies and programs to end all sorts of crimes in India against women. The prime minister’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative aims at equal opportunity and education for girls in India at all levels.

The programs like Sukanya Samridhi Yojana on girl child prosperity and the Janani Suraksha Yojana for mothers advance India’s commitment to gender equality.

In India, we can see that the extent of gender inequality is higher at the higher end and lower at the lower end. Despite this, there are many women role models to follow in India from the first lady prime minister Indira Gandhi to first lady president Pratibha Patil, the first lady IPS officer Kiran Bedi, the then CEO of ICICI bank Chanda Kochar and many more. Women in India are excelling in all walks of life, they are efficiently managing their households and careers both at the same time.

Real empowerment starts from within, every girl and woman should become confident enough to stand for her rights. The exclusion of women from major walks of life will leave the world outside the realm of opportunity to partner in building prosperous societies and economies.

Equal access to education, decent work, and representation in the political and economic decision-making process will not only help women but it will benefit humanity at large.

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