Dear Mankind and most favoured of my children
You will recall my earliest blogs ( mother Earth blogs ) welcomed the Global initiative to develop the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) to help create a safer and fairer world and I was happy that mankind had at last understood the need to live more sustainably and harmoniously with other living things on this, our only, home. Some good progress was starting to be being made in some areas but sadly most of this encouraging activity was brought to an abrupt halt by the COVID 19 Pandemic
This blog on SDG5 -Gender Equality is the next in a series of updates to review the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on the aspirations and targets of each of the original 17 SDGS and to look ahead to the prospects in each sector
The Pandemic has had an unprecedented economic and human toll on Human societies around the world. Sadly, many of the promising development gains of recent decades have been stalled or even reversed. Violence against women has intensified, child marriage although declining in recent years is now likely to increase and women have borne a disproportionate share of the job losses and an increased burden of care work in the home
1 in 3 (736 million) women have been subjected to physical or sexual violence at least once since the age of 15. Amongst those who have never been married or had a partner 24% of 15-19 years old have been the victims of violence . Over the last Decade, child marriage had declined significantly with child brides decreasing by 15% from 1 in 4 to 1 in 5 marriages . However the impact of the pandemic – closures of schools, job losses , economic shocks means that over the next decade, 10 million more girls will be at risk of child marriage to add to the 100 million young girls already at risk.
Sadly the Covid-19 pandemic has exaggerated and exposed existing inequalities and, in some cases, added even more. Discriminatory laws and legal gaps continue to deprive women of their basic human rights. In more than half of countries there is no quota for women in parliament and in only 25% of countries do women have equal rights to enter marriage or to initiate divorce .Although may countries have made commitments to implement ,legislation 63% of countries still lack rape laws based on the principle of consent
The Pandemic has brutally exposed existing gender inequalities and added even more to the burden of women as they are the often overrepresented in the frontline jobs most affected by increased workload such as health workers and carers .
Much more will need to be done in this sector if we are to be able to achieve the desired
gender equality that we all hope for in our future societies.
Sources : The Sustainable Development Goals Reports 2019 -2021 , United nations, New York