No country will achieve gender equality by 2030

It’s a sad day for women.

A report from Equal Measures 2030, an independent civil society and private sector-led partnership, has just revealed that no country is set for gender equality by 2030.

The news forms part of the inaugural Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Gender Index, which measures gender equality across 129 countries and includes 95% of the world’s female population.

What’s more, according to the figures, 2.8 billion women and girls live in countries that don’t have enough measures in place to improve their lives.

The report follows a commitment by 193 countries to achieve 17 SDGs by 2030, which were set and announced in 2015. These goals covered a wide range of areas including gender equality, but also action on the climate crisis, achieving peace and working towards an end to poverty and hunger.

Equal Meaures 2030 noted that ‘no country in the world has reached the “last mile” on gender equality’, which includes Nordic countries which are more often than not at the forefront of gender equality issues.

While no country achieved an excellent overall score (which would be 90 or above), Denmark came close at 89.3. The other top 10 included Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, Canada, Ireland and Australia.

The UK came in at spot 17, with an overall score of 82.2.

It was also found that higher income countries are more likely to have ‘greater gender equality than lower’. It’s perhaps then unsurprising that the bottom five countries featured Niger, Yemen, Congo, DR Congo and Chad.

The countries were measured on 51 targets across 14 of the SDGs.

Areas of improvement for the highest ranking countries who were part of the index included reviewing how many seats are held by women in national parliaments, as well as across science and technology research sectors.

In addition, the report lists ‘wage equality between women and men for similar work’ as a key way to improve gender equality.

‘There is so much discussion around for women within the world of work but we are yet to see any notable changes,’ said Hephzi Pemberton, founder of Equality Group.

‘To close the gender pay gap businesses need to start addressing the systematic issue that is the inequality of opportunity for women, particularly at senior/management levels.

‘One of the most effective ways to close the gap is to get women into the highest paid positions – that’s where the chasm really occurs. Businesses need to assess their current policies and produce affirmative action and enforcement measures to ensure sustained action and progression.

‘Within the UK alone, the gender pay gap is set to be closed in approximately 36 years.’

The report is being presented at the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver today.

‘I don’t see any countries taking the ambitious action needed to tackle intractable problems – even the best scoring countries,’ said Alison Holder, director of Equal Measures 2030.

Like we said, it’s a sad day for women.

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