GOAL 5 Gender Equality
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

SDG 5 aims at achieving gender equality by ending all forms of discrimination, violence, and any harmful practices against women and girls in the public and private spheres. It also recognises the importance of universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for combating gender inequality.

SDG 5 calls for equal rights, recognition and value of unpaid care and domestic work and access to economic and natural resources, technology, basic and financial services and property as well as full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of political and economic decision-making for women. The adoption of sound policies and legislation to promote gender equality are seen as essential for eliminating gender discrimination and fostering women’s empowerment.

Monitoring SDG 5 in an EU context focuses on progress made in abating gender-based violence and in fostering gender equality in education, employment and leadership positions.

Education for Sustainable Development Goals

Suggestions for the development of specific sustainability competencies from the action-oriented, transformative educational and learning outcome-oriented guide Education for Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO (2017)

Suggested learning objectives

Cognitive learning objectives

  1. The learner understands the concept of gender, gender equality and gender discrimination and knows about all forms of gender discrimination, violence and inequality (e.g. harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, honour killings and child marriage, unequal employment opportunities and pay, language construction, traditional gender roles, gendered impact of natural hazards) and understands the current and historical causes of gender inequality.
  2. The learner understands the basic rights of women and girls, including their right to freedom from exploitation and violence and their reproductive rights.
  3. The learner understands levels of gender equality within their own country and culture in comparison to global norms (while respecting cultural sensitivity), including the intersectionality of gender with other social categories such as ability, religion and race.
  4. The learner knows the opportunities and benefits provided by full gender equality and participation in legislation and governance, including public budget allocation, the labour market and public and private decision-making.
  5. The learner understands the role of education, enabling technology and legislation in empowering and ensuring the full participation of all genders.

Socio-emotional learning objectives

  1. The learner is able to recognize and question traditional perception of gender roles in a critical approach, while respecting cultural sensitivity.
  2. The learner is able to identify and speak up against all forms of gender discrimination and debate the benefits of full empowerment of all genders.
  3. The learner is able to connect with others who work to end gender discrimination and violence, empower those who may still be disempowered and promote respect and full equality on all levels.
  4. The learner is able to reflect on their own gender identity and gender roles.
  5. The learner is able to feel empathy and solidarity with those who differ from personal or community gender expectations and roles.

Behavioral learning objectives

  1. The learner is able to take the measure of their surroundings to empower themselves or others who are discriminated against because of their gender.
  2. The learner is able to evaluate, participate in and influence decision-making about gender equality and participation.
  3. The learner is able to support others in developing empathy across genders and breaking down gender discrimination and violence.
  4. The learner is able to observe and identify gender discrimination.
  5. The learner is able to plan, implement, support and evaluate strategies for gender equality.

Suggested topics

Gender as a social and cultural construct Gender inequality, traditional gender roles and structural discrimination Gender equality and participation in decision-making.

Gender and labour, including pay disparity and recognition of unpaid work.

Gender and education, including gender equality in achieving primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education Sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Gender and poverty, including food security and financial dependence.

Gender in community dynamics (decision-making, governance, child care, education, conflict resolution, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation).

Exploitation and trafficking of women and girls The intersectionality of gender with other social categories such as ability, religion and race.

Examples of learning approaches and methods

Celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25)

Invite speakers who have experienced violence based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Perform role-play games that explore inclusion and identity based on gender roles.

Partner with groups from other parts of the world where the approach to gender may be different.

Spend a day working in traditional women’s or men’s work (swap work) Explore how natural hazards and disasters affect women, girls, men and boys differently.

Develop an enquiry-based project: “What is the difference between equality and equity and how does it apply to the world of work?”

External Links

Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations 

Targets and Indicators of Goal 5


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