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Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also crucial to accelerating sustainable development. It has been proven time and again, that empowering women and girls has a multiplier effect, and helps drive up economic growth and development across the board.

Since 2000, UNDP, together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community, has made gender equality central to our work. We have seen remarkable progress since then. 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 SDGs aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still huge inequalities in the labour market in some regions, with women systematically denied equal access to jobs. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public office, all remain huge barriers.

Affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property are vital targets to realizing this goal. So is ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health. Today there are more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging women leaders will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.   

Goals in action

UNDP in Europe and Central Asia

Goal 5 at a glance

What are the problems in the region on gender equality and what are the achievements? MORE >

UNDP in Europe and Central Asia 

Daria: A Roma Women's Journey

A comic tells the story of a Roma woman and her family as they struggle with poverty and discrimination. MORE >

UNDP in Kazakhstan

“I’m Not Afraid to Tell”

Kazakh women are breaking the silence on gender-based violence. MORE >

UNDP in Uzbekistan

Weaving a stronger future

Through a New World project in Uzbekistan, women learn traditional craft-making skills that enable them to find jobs locally. MORE >

UNDP in Europe and Central Asia

8 jobs. 8 stories. 8 women.

From Albania to Tajikistan, celebrate creativity, entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment at the workplace. MORE >

UNDP in Western Balkans

Gender Training for the Military

A partnership between Western Balkans and Sub-Saharan Africa aims to improve gender equality in the military. MORE >

UNDP in Europe and Central Asia

"There is no excuse for violence against women"

Turkish movie stars say no to violence against women. MORE >

UNDP in Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, a new law protects girls against early marriage

A new law drafted by the Kyrgyz Parliament considers marriage with a minor as a criminal offense and now extends criminal punishment. MORE >

UNDP in Armenia

Armenian women take the political stage

Through women and democracy program, more women are getting involved in politics, especially at the local level. MORE >  

UNDP in Albania

Making homes violence-free in Albania

A national support center and the government's push to criminalize violence has helped women facing domestic violence. MORE >  

UNDP in Azerbaiajan

Breaking the cycle of poverty

Rural women are opening new businesses, hoping to break the cycles of early marriage and poverty. MORE >


UNDP Around the world

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