A Gender Advocate, Comfort Benon, is calling on all institutions around the globe to push up more on Goal 5 of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development which talks about Gender Equality. The goal seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls across the globe to have equal ease of access to resources and opportunities including economic participation and decision-making regardless of whoever they are or wherever they come from.
Undoubtedly, women and girls represent half of the world’s population and half of its potential. However, gender equality, in far too many places seems to have taken a nosedive among many nations. Gender inequality is evident almost everywhere and stagnates both social and economic progress. As it stands, over 143 countries have today guaranteed equality between men and women in their constitutions with many others yet to take this step.
In certain parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school. This disadvantage and setback, has mostly translated into lack of access to needed skills and limited opportunities in the labor market. Women and girls’ empowerment is highly essential to expand economic growth and promote social development. Full participation of women in labor forces would certainly add percentage points to most national growth rates; double digits in many cases.
Regardless of where you reside, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing it is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. Investing in education programs for girls and increasing the age at which they marry can return $5 for every dollar spent. Investing in programs and other income-generating activities for women and young girls can also return $7 for every dollar spent
In fixing the issues, young girls can stay in school, help empower colleague female to do the same and fight for their rights to access sexual and reproductive health services. Women can speak up and address unconscious biases and implicit associations that form unintended and often an invisible barrier to equal opportunity. Together, we can support education campaigns to curb cultural practices like female genital mutilation and change harmful laws that limit the rights of females and prevent them from achieving their full potential.
Ms Comfort Benon applauds other Gender Advocates and institutions around the globe and urge them to keep up with their good works on promoting Gender Equality.