The fifth Sustainable Developmental Goal is highlighted, vast and mandatory. This is the world's challenge: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women."

The fifth Sustainable Developmental Goal is highlighted, vast and mandatory. This is the world’s challenge: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women.”

As a woman, this is a goal; I believe in wholeheartedly. In particular, women and men are campaigning for more equal rights, from wage inequality to family leave policies.

The developmental world seems to agree: that investing in and empowering women is a good idea. Opportunity International agrees, and I personally agree.

Need to Empower Woman:

There are pressing issues of equality, equity, and human rights. This goes without saying and certainly provides a sufficient basis for a women-oriented program.

We fight for goals like this if for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do. Women deserve fundamental human rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals highlight this human responsibility to treat one another with respect and honor.”

The factors that make up the Sustainable Development Goals are: 

  • Abolish all forms of violence against women, including human trafficking and sexual and other exploitation, in the public and private sectors.
  • There is no reason other than we are fighting for our ideals. Women have basic human rights, and the Sustainable Development Goals show a responsibility to respect and treat each other.

 Besides all this, other factors make gender equality important for developmental workers around the world. Women are one of the most powerful investments we can make to build a better future.

Imagine you are a woman born in an underdeveloped country. From birth, you will face obstacles that hinder your education, growth, and development. Because your family’s resources are limited, when it’s time to start school, your parents decide to raise boys instead of you – this is true in the 30% of countries that still fighting for gender equality in primary school. Because you don’t go to school, you won’t learn to read and write, making you one of the 496 million uneducated women in the world.

Women are excluded from education, the formal economy, banking, and equal rights. Although women work tirelessly, they face challenge after obstacle reinforced by geography and ancestral norms.

As you grow up, you’re home more often than your siblings, so you get a disproportionate share of the chores and household responsibilities — tasks like walking miles for water and taking care of your younger siblings. If a man approaches your family and asks your parents to oblige, you are now one of 41,000 girls under 18. Tomorrow there will be another 41,000 and the day after that.

You will become pregnant early without access to adequate family planning, contraception, or health care. Because only half of the pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa can maintain their pregnancy, you face an uncontrolled pregnancy, which can be complicated by trauma or injury.6 Fortunately, you give birth to a healthy baby, even if it is limited; to medical care, but now you have to support not only yourself but also this new life.

If you are lucky, you may find a job that allows you to add to your family. But you are still at a disadvantage compared to your male counterparts. Women in sub-Saharan Africa earn 34 percent less than men for the same job7. Fewer women than men work (26% less) and 70% of those who find work are in the informal economy, making women vulnerable to theft, sexual violence, and discrimination.

You will stay at home and be responsible for most of the housework and unpaid work such as childcare. Women in developing countries consume three times longer on home chores than men which costs almost 10 trillion worth of unpaid work.

If women are empowered they can make so much difference in the progress of developing countries. Programs related to women’s education and economic empowerment are not only advantageous in the human rights scenario, but also economic transformation. Statics show that since 2011, each additional year of elementary school increased future earnings of girls by 10-20 percent, and each additional year of high school increased earnings by 15-25 percent.

When girls remain in school, they live longer, live more healthy lives, marry later, have more children, and significantly increase their future earnings. If all girls have a high school education, teenage pregnancy will be two-thirds lower and women will have fewer children.

The education of women also plays an important role in preventing other health crises. Every day, between 800 and 1,500 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, including bleeding, infections, hypertensive disorders, and obstructed labor, accounting for 75 percent of maternal deaths worldwide.

The Sustainable Development Goals seem to be on target, not just because women are more able and deserve equal rights for that simple fact, but because investing in and empowering women opens the potential for the world. Women are the most confidential source in the fight against global poverty; Resources that are often not used to improve lives, economic outcomes, productivity, and human life.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan narrated:

 “Promoting gender equality is not only the responsibility of women, it is the responsibility of all of us.”

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

No wonder we are all passionate about empowering women: they are our most powerful tool.

Author: Rtr. Ayesha Anwar
Club: Rotaract Club of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. (RAC UAF) 

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