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UN:$360 billion annual investment needed to attain gender equality by 2030

cost of gender equality

The Gender Snapshot 2023″ report, jointly launched by UN Women and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in Abu Dhabi, provides a comprehensive assessment of gender equality progress across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for concerted efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030, emphasizing that an additional $360 billion per year is required to meet gender equality and women’s empowerment targets. It also calls for an integrated, collaborative, well-funded, and policy-driven approach to address gender disparities and empower women and girls. Failure to prioritize gender equality now could endanger the entire 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

A notable feature of this year’s report is its inclusion of sex-disaggregated data on the intersection of gender and climate change. It predicts that, under a worst-case climate scenario, climate change could push up to 158.3 million more women and girls into poverty by mid-century, exceeding the number of affected men and boys by 16 million.

The report presents several concerning facts and figures:

  • Food insecurity is projected to affect up to 236 million more women and girls under the worst-case climate scenario, compared to 131 million more men and boys, due to climate change.
  • No country is on track to eliminate intimate partner violence, and only 27 countries have comprehensive systems for tracking and budgeting gender equality and women’s empowerment efforts.
  • The number of women and girls living in conflict-affected areas has substantially increased. In 2022, this population reached 614 million, a 50% rise from 2017, with devastating consequences.
  • Globally, if current progress rates continue, an estimated 110 million girls and young women will be out of school by 2030.
  • The gender pay and employment gap persists, with women earning only 51 cents for every dollar men earn in labor income worldwide. Additionally, only 61.4% of prime working-age women are in the labor force, compared to 90% of prime working-age men.

In light of these findings, the report underscores the critical need for immediate, comprehensive, and targeted actions to advance gender equality. It also highlights the importance of addressing the intersection of gender and climate change, as climate impacts disproportionately affect women and girls. 

Ultimately, achieving gender equality is not only a moral imperative but a prerequisite for realizing the broader Sustainable Development Goals. The report’s call for global collaboration, increased funding, and concrete policy measures is essential to ensuring that no one is left behind in the pursuit of a more equitable and sustainable world by 2030.

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