Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, as outlined in Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, is a necessity for development. As long as there is gender-based discrimination anywhere, dismantling any structures of power that cause this must be a priority so that there is not unequal development. Development must also include creating opportunities and an environment for all women and girls to participate fully and meaningfully in society without fear of violence or exploitation.
The obstacles to development are enormous for many women and girls, with particular challenges in poor countries, and the figures bear this out: Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate are women, which makes it harder for them to earn an income, take advantage of opportunities available in their societies, and protect their interests and rights; Women are society’s primary carers, yet some 500,000 women die each year due to preventable pregnancy-related complications, often as a result of not having access to health care; and An estimated one-third of all women have been violently abused.
Women and girls across the world are disproportionately affected by harmful exploitative practices such as human trafficking and sexual abuse. These problems, along with other harmful practices such as child, early, and forced marriages, and female genital mutilation, are hoping to be eradicated as part of Agenda 2030.
With global poverty affecting women and children especially, everyone interested in the well-being of all people must pay special attention to removing the obstacles that face women and girls in achieving equality, development and peace.
- Dóchas Statement: International Women's Day (2018)
- Dóchas Statement: International Women's Day (2017)
- Dóchas Statement: International Women's Day (2016)
Government and Multilateral Publications
- Department of Justice and Equality 'National Strategy for Women and Girls' (2017-2020)
- UN Women 'Strategic Plan' (2018 - 2021)
- UN Convention the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
- Development Cooperation Ireland 'Gender Equality Policy' (2004)
- Council of the EU 'Conclusions on Gender in Development' (2015)
- EU 'Toolkit on Mainstreaming Gender Equality in EC Development Cooperation' (2009)
- Trócaire 'Pushing the Boundaries: Understanding Women's Participation and Empowerment' (2015)
- Asian Development Bank 'Toolkit on Gender Equality Results and Indicators' (2013)
- Concern Worldwide 'Equality Policy: Central to our being and doing' (2006)