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Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies from the Field

Published by: Penn Law, SDG Fund, and UNESCO


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Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies from the Field grows out of a high level roundtable convened by Penn Law, UN Women, UNESCO, UN SDG Fund, and IDLO in March 2017. The convening brought together over 30 legislators, judges, and policy experts from more than 15 countries to examine new developments and challenges in gender equality lawmaking under Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The following case studies and essays expand on those deliberations and interactions and highlight some tensions in evolving law reform efforts around the world. Closing the enforcement gap in gender equality laws is often called the “unfinished business of the 21st century.” These reflections offer fresh insights and policy guidelines for UN agencies, multilaterals, government entities and civil society organizations charged with gender-based law reform.

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General Information

SDGs Goal 5: Gender equality
Published
2018
Thematic Area
Gender equality
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Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.

Since 2000, UNDP together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community has made gender equality central to our work, and we have seen some remarkable successes. More girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education. Women now make up to 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, compared to 35 percent in 1990.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labour market. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision making, all remain huge barriers.

Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property, are vital targets to realizing this goal. There are now more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders across all regions will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.

Gender equality is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

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Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.

Since 2000, UNDP together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community has made gender equality central to our work, and we have seen some remarkable successes. More girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education. Women now make up to 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, compared to 35 percent in 1990.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labour market. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision making, all remain huge barriers.

Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property, are vital targets to realizing this goal. There are now more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders across all regions will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.

Gender equality is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund has placed gender equality and women’s empowerment at the heart of its efforts to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. By directly empowering women and by bringing a gender perspective to all development work, we can build a more equitable, sustainable future for all. All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans.

For example,

  • In Bangladesh, the labor force participation of rural women is only 36.4% compared to 83.3% of men. Creating employment and income generating opportunities for women and enhancing their access to social protection will help reduce gender disparities.
  • In Ethiopia, rural women lag behind in access to land property, economic opportunities, justice system and financial assets. Women farmers perform up to 75% of farm labor but hold only 18.7% of agricultural land in the country. The SDG Fund is using a multifaceted approach to generate gender-sensitive agricultural extension services, support the creation of cooperatives, promote the expansion of women-owned agribusiness and increase rural women’s participation in rural producer associations, financial cooperatives and unions.
  • In the occupied Palestinian territory, the SDG Fund joint programme is helping to improve the livelihoods of Palestinian women. The programme is building the capacities of women-owned and run MSMEs and cooperatives, preserving cultural and agricultural products, and turning them into marketable and exportable products. In addition, the programme is protecting local production and establish incentives for women cooperatives. 
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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund has placed gender equality and women’s empowerment at the heart of its efforts to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. By directly empowering women and by bringing a gender perspective to all development work, we can build a more equitable, sustainable future for all. All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans.

For example,

  • In Bangladesh, the labor force participation of rural women is only 36.4% compared to 83.3% of men. Creating employment and income generating opportunities for women and enhancing their access to social protection will help reduce gender disparities.
  • In Ethiopia, rural women lag behind in access to land property, economic opportunities, justice system and financial assets. Women farmers perform up to 75% of farm labor but hold only 18.7% of agricultural land in the country. The SDG Fund is using a multifaceted approach to generate gender-sensitive agricultural extension services, support the creation of cooperatives, promote the expansion of women-owned agribusiness and increase rural women’s participation in rural producer associations, financial cooperatives and unions.
  • In the occupied Palestinian territory, the SDG Fund joint programme is helping to improve the livelihoods of Palestinian women. The programme is building the capacities of women-owned and run MSMEs and cooperatives, preserving cultural and agricultural products, and turning them into marketable and exportable products. In addition, the programme is protecting local production and establish incentives for women cooperatives. 
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  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
  • Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
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  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
  • Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
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Mainstreaming gender into joint programmes

All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans. It uses the experience of MDG-F joint programmes that suggests a number of ways to mainstream gender approaches.

The MDG-F’s Knowledge Management Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, led by UNDP’s Gender Unit, recommended to take into account the following criteria for designing gender-sensitive programmes:

  • Has the project/programme included gender analysis in its design, implementation, and management?
  • Does the project/programme include specific, measurable outcomes, outputs, activities and indicators related to gender equality and women’s empowerment?
  • Does the project/programme include age and sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics for the project/programme development and implementation?
  • Has the project/programme facilitated participatory processes that involve women equitably, and included their needs and contributions in all the steps of the project and/or programme cycle?
  • Have gender experts been involved in all steps of the project or programme cycle?
  • Have all the projects been rated with the Gender Marker?
  • Have a proportion of core and non-core funds been clearly indicated for gender equality and/or the empowerment of women?
  • Have all possible steps been taken to ensure gender parity in the recruitment of project staff, consultants, and/or vendors?

All our programmes have been asked to answer these questions when designing, implementing, and monitoring our programmes.

For further information, see:

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Mainstreaming gender into joint programmes

All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans. It uses the experience of MDG-F joint programmes that suggests a number of ways to mainstream gender approaches.

The MDG-F’s Knowledge Management Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, led by UNDP’s Gender Unit, recommended to take into account the following criteria for designing gender-sensitive programmes:

  • Has the project/programme included gender analysis in its design, implementation, and management?
  • Does the project/programme include specific, measurable outcomes, outputs, activities and indicators related to gender equality and women’s empowerment?
  • Does the project/programme include age and sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics for the project/programme development and implementation?
  • Has the project/programme facilitated participatory processes that involve women equitably, and included their needs and contributions in all the steps of the project and/or programme cycle?
  • Have gender experts been involved in all steps of the project or programme cycle?
  • Have all the projects been rated with the Gender Marker?
  • Have a proportion of core and non-core funds been clearly indicated for gender equality and/or the empowerment of women?
  • Have all possible steps been taken to ensure gender parity in the recruitment of project staff, consultants, and/or vendors?

All our programmes have been asked to answer these questions when designing, implementing, and monitoring our programmes.

For further information, see:

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Understanding how women and men, girls and boys, are affected by poverty

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Understanding how women and men, girls and boys, are affected by poverty

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The convening brought together over 30 legislators, judges, and policy experts from more than 15 countries to examine new developments and challenges in gender equality lawmaking under Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The following case studies and essays expand on those deliberations and interactions and highlight some tensions in evolving law reform efforts around the world. Closing the enforcement gap in gender equality laws is often called the “unfinished business of the 21st century.” These reflections offer fresh insights and policy guidelines for UN agencies, multilaterals, government entities and civil society organizations charged with gender-based law reform. [format] => [safe_value] => Making Laws, Breaking Silence: Case Studies from the Field grows out of a high level roundtable convened by Penn Law, UN Women, UNESCO, UN SDG Fund, and IDLO in March 2017. The convening brought together over 30 legislators, judges, and policy experts from more than 15 countries to examine new developments and challenges in gender equality lawmaking under Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The following case studies and essays expand on those deliberations and interactions and highlight some tensions in evolving law reform efforts around the world. Closing the enforcement gap in gender equality laws is often called the “unfinished business of the 21st century.” These reflections offer fresh insights and policy guidelines for UN agencies, multilaterals, government entities and civil society organizations charged with gender-based law reform. ) ) ) [field_year] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => 2018-01-01 00:00:00 [timezone] => America/New_York [timezone_db] => America/New_York [date_type] => datetime ) ) ) [field_publication_keywords] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [tid] => 11 ) [1] => Array ( [tid] => 47 ) ) ) [field_publisher] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => Penn Law, SDG Fund, and UNESCO [format] => [safe_value] => Penn Law, SDG Fund, and UNESCO ) ) ) [field_region] => Array ( ) [field_thumb] => Array ( ) [field_featured] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => 1 ) ) ) [field_file_fr] => Array ( ) [field_file_ar] => Array ( ) [field_file_pt] => Array ( ) [field_file_es] => Array ( ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/7759-making-laws-breaking-silence [format] => [safe_value] => https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/7759-making-laws-breaking-silence ) ) ) [field_external_link_text] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => External Link [format] => [safe_value] => External Link ) ) ) [rdf_mapping] => Array ( [rdftype] => Array ( [0] => sioc:Item [1] => foaf:Document ) [title] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => dc:title ) ) [created] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => dc:date [1] => dc:created ) [datatype] => xsd:dateTime [callback] => date_iso8601 ) [changed] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => dc:modified ) [datatype] => xsd:dateTime [callback] => date_iso8601 ) [body] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => content:encoded ) ) [uid] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => sioc:has_creator ) [type] => rel ) [name] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => foaf:name ) ) [comment_count] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => sioc:num_replies ) [datatype] => xsd:integer ) [last_activity] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => sioc:last_activity_date ) [datatype] => xsd:dateTime [callback] => date_iso8601 ) ) [path] => Array ( [pathauto] => 1 ) [name] => dorodnykh [picture] => 0 [data] => a:2:{s:7:"contact";i:0;s:7:"overlay";i:1;} [entity_view_prepared] => 1 ) [#items] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/7759-making-laws-breaking-silence [format] => [safe_value] => https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/7759-making-laws-breaking-silence ) ) [#formatter] => text_plain [0] => Array ( [#markup] => https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/7759-making-laws-breaking-silence ) [#description] => Please enter the full URL, e.g. http://www.example.com [#printed] => 1 )