Not one single country set to achieve gender equality by 2030

The first global index measuring efforts to end gender inequality finds countries are not doing enough to improve women’s lives. 

No country in the world is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030, according to the first index to measure progress against a set of internationally agreed targets. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said the index, launched on Monday, “should serve as a wake-up call to the world”.

Even the Nordic states, which score highly in the index, would need to take huge strides to fulfil gender commitments in the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which 193 countries signed up to in 2015. The goals are considered the blueprint for global efforts to end poverty and inequality and halt the climate crisis. The deadline to meet them is 2030. The inaugural SDG Gender Index, developed by the Equal Measures 2030partnership, found that 2.8 billion women and girls currently live in countries that are not doing enough to improve women’s lives.

The index measured progress in 129 countries, marking them from zero to 100 – 100 meaning equality has been achieved – on 51 targets in 14 of the goals. These targets either specifically reference gender equality, or touch on issues that have a disproportionate affect on women and girls, such as whether women have access to mobile banking, or the internet, or a safe water source.

According to the index, countries with an overall score of 90 or more are making excellent progress, while those scoring 59 or less are making very poor headway on achieving the goals. The average overall score for the 129 countries in the index – home to 95% of the world’s women and girls – was 65.7, considered a poor result in the scoring system.

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