It’s not the best news a woman wants to hear…that our goal of gender equality may be further away than we would’ve hoped for.
According to the first global index on gender equality, no country in the world is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.
The SDG Gender Index finds that with just 11 years to go, 40% of the world’s female population live in countries with gender inequality. That is a whopping 1.4 billion women and girls! A further 1.4 billion females live in countries that “barely pass”.
The SDG Gender Index is part of an agreement that was signed by 193 countries in 2015, that pledged to tackle 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030. 14 of these goals relate to gender equality issues with all of them having the aim of increasing global living standards. The index covers the state of gender equality for 95 per cent of the world’s female population.
Not one country reached the “last mile” on gender equality with no country scoring consistently well across all measures. However, the report finds a glimmer of hope, noting that “pockets of progress and compelling success stories can be found even among the lower performing regions and countries.”
Only 8 percent of the countries measured, scored a “good” rating of 80 or more out of 100. No country scored an “excellent” score of 90 or higher.
A shocking 80% of countries scored either “poor” or “very poor”.
Denmark ranked as the best country in the world for gender equality, scoring 89.3 out of 100, only just missing out on the “excellent” ranking. The top 10 countries include, Finland, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Overall, the report suggests that higher income countries are more likely to have greater gender equality than lower income countries.
The bottom 10 countries include, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Yemen, Congo and DR Congo. Chad was ranked last with a score of 33.4 out of 100.
These figures prompted Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to say this “should serve as a wakeup call to the world.”
Overall the index finds the world is furthest behind on gender equality issues related to public finance and better gender data, climate change, gender equality in industry and innovation and worryingly the standalone “gender equality” goal.
However the report indicates that many countries have achieved important milestones towards gender equality in a number of the SDGs, such as education, health, access to basic services and certain legal rights.
We still have a long way to go, with many issues that remain to be addressed so that girls and women around the world enjoy full equality and attain their rights.
The report will be reviewed in 2021, so hopefully by then we would’ve taken a big leap towards our goal of gender equality!
To read the full report by Equal Measures, click here.
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.