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More action needed on global gender equality by 2030


The 2019 SDG Gender Index, tracking gender equality across 129 countries, finds that nearly 40 per cent of the world’s girls and women – 1.4 billion people – live in countries failing on gender equality.

Another 1.4 billion people live in countries that were scored a “barely pass” on gender equality benchmarks, which include availability of gender budgeting, access to public services, equal representation in positions of power, gender pay gaps and prevalence of gender-based violence. According to the report, there is room for improvement globally: No country in the world has yet reached the “last mile” on achieving gender equality.

As shown in the graphic below, the highest-scoring countries are in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Nordic nations (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway) and the Netherlands made up the top five scoring countries, with Slovenia, Germany, Canada, Ireland and Australia rounding out the top 10 countries. Sub-Saharan Africa has the most number of countries among the lowest rank for gender equality.

Even among the highest-ranking countries, the following areas still garnered low scores, indicating areas for improvement among leaders of gender equality. Clearly, the intersection of gender equality and a clean energy transition provides ground for both challenges and opportunities in sustainable development:

Climate change preparedness

  • The extent to which a country is committed to disaster risk reduction;
  • Level of climate vulnerability;

Earning power and benefits

  • Tax revenue as a % of GDP;
  • Social expenditure as a % of GDP;
  • Extent to which a national budget is broken down by factors such as gender, age, income, or region;
  • Openness of gender statistics;
  • Wage equality between women and men for similar work;

Equal representation in positions of power

  • Percentage of seats held by women on a country’s Supreme Court or highest court;
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments;
  • Proportion of ministerial/senior government positions held by women;
  • Proportion of women in science and technology research positions;

Infrastructure and safety

  • Proportion of women who report being satisfied with the quality of roads in the city or area where they live;
  • Percentage of women aged 15+ who report that they “feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live.”

Globally, according to report author Equal Measures 2030, a civil society partnership tracking progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the average progress on achieving SDG7 for access to affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy is more positive than on SDG5 for gender equality. Both SDG5 and SDG7 are driving principles for the Women in Wind program.

The full report, which includes individual country rankings and recommendations for actions, is available here

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