The following post is written by Lauren Smith.
NAWO has been driving work with UKSSD and other organisations across the UK to find out how the UK is measuring up against the United Nations SDGs. The #MeasuringUp report was presented at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York and at the House of Commons in London last month – as Chapter 5 NAWO led the Chapter on SDG5, on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls! View it here.
So how are we doing? We have made extensive gains on the road to gender parity however there is still much to be done. Barriers to women’s economic advancement remain with equal conditions essential to ensuring that men and women are afforded the same opportunities. Negative gender stereotypes also persist with real consequences for women and girls.
NAWO believes that formal and informal education is vital to ensure women of all ages are empowered to realise their full potential. Engaging with girls and boys in primary school and breaking down the myths around gender stereotyping is where we need to start. Women and girls must have access to the same education and training opportunities afforded to men and boys to enjoy full participation in the labour market. As the world of digital technology evolves, women and girls must be able to access non-traditional areas of education and work such as STEM. In the interest of gender equality and economic development, women and girls must be equipped with skills to pursue careers in multiple areas and become entrepreneurs in their own right. Equally important will be the need to address child care costs and caring responsibilities.
At its heart gender equality is about equal rights for everyone and it is important that men and boys are a part of the solution to support their daughters, sisters, and mothers in having a fair go. It is about attitudes. Men and women working together can help tackle negative and pervasive gender stereotypes. Gender equality also relies on inclusivity and rights of the LGBT+ community should not be forgotten or excluded in discussions on gender equality which cannot be achieved without considering multiple-discrimination in mainstreaming gender equality impact assessments for inclusive policy and planning.
It is a good time to be a women in the UK and we have much to be proud of, but of course, there is more to be done. NAWO thanks all those organisations and individuals who came together to support the #MeasuringUp Report and its recommendations.
If you’d like to read NAWO trustee Barbara Cleary’s blog post written on the release of the report, click here.
To learn more about the work of UKSSD, you can follow them on Twitter by clicking here.