Sometimes it’s a sister-in-law who tells a woman to obey her husband. Or an executive who pays a new female staff member a lower salary. A man who thinks he has the right to grope a woman. UN Sustainable Development Goal #5 challenges the world to achieve gender equality by 2030. Can a treaty propel the world toward this goal? Absolutely. Like few other mechanisms can. Here, we break down how the core elements of a global treaty address SDG #5’s specific targets.
SDG 5’s Target: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
A treaty mandating that governments enact comprehensive nation reform that includes specific laws, training and national violence prevention education campaigns will provide a foundation which will jump start the essential work of shifting societal views on women.
SDG 5’s Target: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres and eliminate all harmful practices, such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.
A treaty will mandate that State Parties employ evidence-based interventions proven to reduce rates of violence, as well as root out core contributors of violence, including harmful laws, practices, social norms, and impunity. It will also provide a comprehensive global definition of violence against women and girls that includes all forms of violence across all ages and in all situations, and will no longer allow nations to excuse violence as personal or cultural.
SDG 5’s Target: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
We’re conducting a global consultation on what reproductive health policy might be included in this treaty. Based on current political realities, the treaty is unlikely to include abortion rights. However, we expect it to include key wins on reproductive health, or possibly an additional protocol that would be comprehensive. If you would like to participate in this consultation, let us know!
SDG 5’s Target: 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.
Economic violence is a key aspect included in the treaty and will push nations to end discriminatory laws that perpetuate violence, including those that prevent women from accessing economic resources.
SDG 5’s Target: 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.
The treaty requires nations to enact national legislation reform that includes reversing laws that perpetuate violence and creating laws that close legal gaps to women’s safety, giving women stated equal protection in the law.
In SDG 5’s other target areas, such as women’s political and economic leadership and technology, the treaty’s funding for innovative government programming and violence prevention programs (for 10–22 year olds) will help increase understanding of gender discrimination and the value of women’s work in the home and in society, furthering our chances of achieving a more equal, just and safe world for women and girls by 2030.