Thursday, September 19, 2019
There has been a robust rise in women’s access to non-agrarian employment and top political offices
- Regular, salaried work best advances women’s empowerment, but the gig economy is taking work in the opposite direction.
- Nordic countries will lead on gender equality, but some policies such as those on maternity leave remain controversial.
- Developing countries, especially of Africa and South Asia, are improving women’s status, but from a low base.
The UN has prioritised gender equality as one of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, attaching nine targets that exclusively focus on gender issues ranging from violence and reproductive freedoms to access to economic resources and public life. Yet whether at home, university, workplace or parliament, women have yet to achieve parity with men anywhere globally.
Progress varies -- and will continue to vary -- by region and country. It will also differ by issue: due to entrenched socio-cultural biases and norms, tackling women’s access to decent, paid work and higher education, for example, is proving easier than reducing gender-based violence and women’s disproportionate domestic care burden.
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