According to one of the world’s most depressing indices, not a single country is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.
The SDG Gender Index, developed by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership, measures progress against a set of internationally agreed-upon targets, which 193 countries signed up to in 2015.
The Sustainable Development Goals are considered the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”, and they seek to address issues like gender inequality, climate, poverty, environmental degradation, and peace and justice.
Gender Equality is the fifth goal, and it includes targets like eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, and recognising and valuing unpaid and domestic care work through the provision of public services.
Gender equality is included in several of the other goals as well, however, such as the first, eliminating poverty, as women are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the eighth, economic growth, as wage inequality continues to be an issue across the majority of industries.
According to the report, nearly 40% (or 1.4 billion) of the world’s women and girls live in countries that are failing them when it comes to gender equality, and Another 1.4 billion women and girls live in countries that “barely pass”. Even in places like Scandinavia, that score quite high on the index, huge changes would need to be undertaken to achieve gender equality in the next eleven years.
Only 21 countries achieved scores of 80 or above, meaning no country achieved an ‘excellent’ score. Australia achieved a mark of 85.2, the highest in the Asia Pacific region. (New Zealand was only .1 of a point behind us, at 85.1.)
The ten highest-scoring countries are:
The report notes that the United States and Switzerland, among others, have lower scores than would be expected based on their GDP per capita.
Melinda Gates said that the report should “serve as a wake-up call to the world”, but given how many world leaders have ignored all the previous wake-up calls about everything from sexism to climate change, I’m not holding my breath.
The sooner we appoint Greta Thunberg leader of the free world, the sooner we can kill several of those birds with one stone, tbh.