#WomenAndEconomy MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women by 2015

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women by 2015

2015 is the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at reducing extreme poverty, advancing gender equality and health equity, improving maternal and child health, fighting diseases and developing a global partnership for development. A lot has been said and unsaid, done and left undone regarding the MDGs in the past 15 years. This short article touches briefly on MDG 3, its aims and indicator and few ways by which we can promote gender equality and empower women.

KNOW YOUR MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs)

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women by 2015

Q: What are the Goals, aims and indicators of MDG3?

A: MDG3 is concerned with issues of gender-based discrimination and women empowerment

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Target 3.A. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education by no later than 2015

Indicators for monitoring progress

3.1 Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education

3.2 Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector

3.3 Proportion of seats held by women in National Parliaments

Q: How can women’s empowerment promote economic stability?

A: Putting resources into poor women’s hands while promoting gender equality in the household and in society results in large development payoffs. Expanding women’s opportunities in public works, agriculture, finance, and other sectors accelerates economic growth, helping to mitigate the effects of current and future financial crises.

Q: How can gender-based discrimination limits the attainment of the MDGs

A: Differences in the status of women and men lead to disparate opportunities to claim, benefit from and enjoy human rights, including the right to health. This leads to health inequalities in all countries and poses a major impediment to sustainable development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Gender Equality as Key to Achieving the MDGs

MDG 3 has become the universal barometer by which global gender equality progress is being judged.

Empowering women and girls is not only the right thing to do; it’s also smart economics and vital to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity. And as women represent half of the world’s population, it makes sense that they should be entitled to equal opportunities, equal enrolment and equal representation at all levels with their male counterparts. A range of significant advances has been made in bridging the gap, but too many women still lack basic freedoms and opportunities and face huge inequalities in school enrolment,  in the world of work and of course in politics.

3.1 Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education

There is a strong link between education, gender equality and empowerment outcomes. For example, an extra year of secondary schooling for girls can increase their future wages by 10 to 20%. And evidence shows that resources in the hands of women boost household spending in areas that benefit children. And though there has been significant success in girls’ enrolment globally, a ratio of 1:1 is yet to be achieved.

3.2 Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector

Women’s access to paid work gives them a greater sense of self-reliance, greater purchasing power and overall the capacity to make a choice. However, discriminatory laws and customs are still leading constraint to women’s choices and productivity, as well as their ability to own or inherit property, open bank accounts, or access inputs such as credit or fertilizer that would boost their productivity. Besides, it’s important to look beyond the presence or absence of work and address the issue of the quality of work in itself.

3.3 Proportion of seats held by women in National Parliaments

Commendable progress is being made in many places. For example, in about 50 countries of the world, women now hold more than 30% of seats in national parliaments. However, while this indicator has great potentials, progress has been particularly very slow: women’s representation in parliamentary seats increase from 11.6% in 1995 to only 19.7 % by January 2012.

Steps by which we can achieve gender equality and empower women:

  • educating girls

  • increasing literacy rates among women

  • increasing early childhood development interventions

  • increasing women’s labour force participation and strengthening labour policies affecting women

  • improving women’s access to credit, land and other resources

  • promoting women’s political rights and participation

  • expanding reproductive health programs and family support policies

  • supporting the prevention of and response to gender-based violence;

  • providing support for gender-responsive policies and programmes.

For further reading

UNICEF | Goal: Promote gender equality and empower women

WHO | Millennium Development Goal 3: Gender equality

MDG 3: promote gender equality and empower women

GOAL 3 Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women by 2015

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “#WomenAndEconomy MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women by 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s