HOW GENDERED STEREOTYPES STILL AFFECT WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT
Aggiornato il: 16 nov 2019
**ONLY ENGLISH VERSION
(Full article, written for @SisterRiot, published here)
Four years ago a global call to promote actions against poverty, to protect the planet and to make a world a more inclusive and fair place was set up and then adopted by the Un General Assembly: this global call is known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through its 17 fundamental goals (SDGs) the Agenda, grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), aims to overcome some of the most wide spread critical issues, from both social and economic perspectives which are very connected each other.
This approach should allow the national governments, together with stakeholders and all those involved in improving peace and inclusion, to pursue a common vision: human rights must be the basis and the very essential starting point to drive national countries to their own development.
As far as both global and national data highlights, girls and women in the world are those who are more likely to live in extreme poverty, to suffer from hunger, to experience discrimination and violence, in and out the family (Why gender equality matters across all sdgs, UN 2018). Ending all forms of gender-based inequalities represents a key challenge to reach within the 2030, as declared in Goal 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
In addition to stop discrimination and violence against women and girls in private and public spheres (the 35% of women between 15-49 years of age experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner), the Agenda addresses the need to remove any social and cultural barriers which prevent the access to education, to sexual and reproductive health, to work and to financial credit too.
The achievement of such fundamentals rights in the premise to express one’s own potential, to live safely and have the means necessary for self-determination. Furthermore, since women represent half of the world’s population, it is clear how the lack of equal opportunities in the above-mentioned aspects of life affects, therefore, the whole society.
As women’s empowerment plays a relevant role across all the SDGs, increasing their access to education and to labor market participation would create, as a result, some positive effects not only to their personal development and independency, but, as a matter of a fact, also to their household economic conditions (Violence against Women and Economic Independence, 2017, Eu Report). For instance, the more women are engaged in paid work the more they will invest their money back in their professional activity and for family’s needs as well, especially those concerning children’s (Why gender equality matters across all SDGS, UN Report, 2018).
In the last decades, girls across OECD countries achieved higher education’s levels, even performing better than boy: the gender gap in education has indeed reversed as 34% of women attained a tertiary education compared to 30% of men (The pursuit of Gender Equality, OECD, 2017). Yet, the gender access at work and the pay gap are both worldwide still pervasive, while the unpaid-work involve women 2.6 times compared to men (SDGs, UN Report, 2018).
Increasing women’s participation in labor market is globally crucial under both quantitatively and qualitatively perspective.
Decent work is, in fact, another key goal in 2030 Agenda (SDG8), it aims to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” (ILO). Because of the long lasting and widespread gender-based inequalities already mentioned, women, more than ever before, do not just need to earn a fair income and be safe in the workplace, they also must get social protection for their families, holding the financial, economic and technology means to fully express themselves and take decisions.
Moreover, decent work is about make future plans, feel the power to stand up for one’s own rights in public and private life, to participate at debates improving leadership both at local and national level.
Despite most of OECD countries implemented the gender balance in corporate and public decision-making positions, mostly through affirmative actions (like gender quota), inequalities do not seem to stop.
According to data (OECD, 2017), even at comparable education’s level women and men continue to share social responsibilities unequally, as longstanding gendered representations and social norms hamper women’s career development.
Full article: SisterRiot