Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
We are all entitled to human rights. These include the right to live free from violence and discrimination; to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn an equal wage.
But across the globe many women and girls still face discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. Gender inequality underpins many problems which disproportionately affect women and girls, such as domestic and sexual violence, lower pay, lack of access to education, and inadequate healthcare.
For many years women’s rights movements have fought hard to address this inequality, campaigning to change laws or taking to the streets to demand their rights are respected.
Today, gender bias continues to create huge barriers for many women. Ongoing struggles include ensuring equal economic opportunities, educational equity, and an end to gender-based violence.
A look back at history shows that women have made great strides in the fight for equality, including women’s suffrage and inroads in equal opportunity in the workplace and education.
Despite the tremendous progress made in the struggle for gender equality, women still face violence, discrimination, and institutional barriers to equal participation in society.
In the employment realm, laws and workplace policies that exclude women from certain job sectors and allow them to be forced out of the workplace when they become pregnant or return to work after having a baby cause persistent disparities in women’s income, wealth, and economic security.
Survivors of gender-based violence face discrimination when police, schools, landlords, and other institutions fail to adequately address and prevent violence and also when laws and policies penalize them, impeding the ability of women and girls to live safely and with dignity.
In the education sector, many public schools have introduced programs based on unfounded stereotypes about the learning abilities and preferences of boys and girls, limiting equal educational opportunities for all.
The list can go on!
We still haven’t learned to respect each-other’s rights as human beings. So where is this world headed?
Don’t we know that great things are accomplished when we join forces and work together?
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