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Gender Equality as a Precondition for Meeting Various Challenges like Reducing Poverty, Promoting Sustainable Development and Good Governance: A Discussion

Fatiimah Waariithah Ahsan

Gender equality and poverty are presented as two interrelated parameters. There is a negative correlation between the two concepts (Accordingly, when gender equality is enhanced, poverty decreases). The United Nations have religiously been there to tackle poverty, provide good governance and minimize the gender inequality gap. Much of the talk with gender equality and tackling poverty now is in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the focus on development. Goal 5 of the SDGs is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.  But how far are these goals being achieved is still a growing question to debate about.

Amid all the discussion about inequality, gender voices are still a grey issue in many sectors. Even within the UN, most of the high-level policy debates are composed of men. There are not many women in the conversation. Gender inequalities vary considerably between goals. While young women in Africa are between two and four times more likely than their male contemporaries to be infected with HIV, globally girls are no more likely than boys to be underweight. In Bangladesh, it's the poorest boys who are less likely to go to school than the poorest girls.

Gender is just one of a multiplicity of inequalities that combine to form the patterns of poverty and exclusion that we see in the world today. Other inequalities are also hugely significant. In Vietnam, for example, only 7% of ethnic minority households have access to improved sanitation, while the figure for the majority Kinh and Chinese groups is 43%. In India, more than 90% of rich urban women have a skilled attendant with them when they give birth, but for poor rural women, the figure is less than 20%.

Gender equality is one of the most important branches of development in the world more so in the developing nations. It has created much buzz in recent times than ever before. What really is gender equality is an objective question. Is it the same rights for both the sexes or is it having to recognize the male and female values as the same or is it having the same pay scale for both male and female? Typically, when talking about gender equality, scholars, writers, bloggers and activists are concerned with giving women the same or similar rights as men. The issue is are men superior to women and whether this male-dominated society is decelerating sustainable development and good Governance.

Gender equality, Developmental Studies, General law
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