Gender Equality and women's rights in 21st centuary - Seeker's Thoughts

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Gender Equality and women's rights in 21st centuary

Gender Equality - Women's Rights in the 21st Century


Gender equality is a critical human right, essential for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. It requires change at all levels of society and a holistic approach to social development, from the economy to family life and politics.




Gender equality is a complex issue that can be measured in many ways, using composite indices. This article explores one of these indices, which measures the proportion of women in managerial positions.


Human Rights


Gender equality is a vital part of human rights and United Nations values. However, despite progress over the decades, women continue to face inequality in many areas of their lives. They often experience discrimination on the basis of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability and socio-economic status.

Gender discrimination is a violation of international law, and the UN has a number of conventions and treaties that guarantee the rights of women and combat violence against them. These international human rights treaties require States to take proactive steps to ensure that their laws and policies respect, protect and fulfill women's human rights.

For example, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) requires States to allow women to participate in civic and political processes and elections. The ICCPR also prohibits discrimination against women in education, employment, social security and other aspects of life that affect their right to participate.

Some regional human rights conventions, such as the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, also guarantee women's rights. They include the right to equal access to education, as well as the rights of women to work and property.

In addition to protecting the human rights of women, international and regional human rights treaties also provide guidelines on preventing and resolving gender-based violence. This includes providing access to justice for victims and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Another violation of women's human rights is female genital mutilation, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia and can cause severe health complications. This practice is widespread in 30 African countries and a few other regions of the world, including Asia and the Middle East.

Sexual violence against women, which includes rape, forced prostitution and other forms of sexual abuse, is a violation of international human rights law. It is the responsibility of all States to prevent this form of violence and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable through effective prosecution.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, sets out a series of fundamental human rights and freedoms for all people. These rights and freedoms are enforceable through a system of international human rights law and through the work of a variety of UN bodies and agencies.




Gender equality is the vision that men and women should be treated equally in social, economic and all other aspects of society. It is an important part of human rights and is the key to achieving sustainable development.

Achieving gender equality is a key part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are meant to ensure that people live better lives and have more opportunities to thrive.

Education is a powerful tool for addressing gender inequalities and advancing gender equality. It teaches children about issues that affect them and empowers them to speak up against discrimination. It helps girls to develop a strong sense of self-worth and to identify and challenge harmful norms.

Every child has the right to an education. Yet, girls often face obstacles that limit their access to quality education, including poverty and violence in their families and communities.

In addition, many countries do not provide the same level of support for girls as boys. This is especially true for rural communities, where parents may not be able to afford the school fees or the uniforms that their daughters need.

Achieving gender parity in schools is a priority for UNRWA. Through various initiatives, the agency ensures that boys and girls are able to achieve a high level of education and receive equal attention in their classes.

This is crucial for empowering girls to succeed in their future career choices and for eradicating harmful norms that prevent women from achieving the same opportunities as men.

It is also important for fostering innovation and increasing economic growth. For example, research has found that tertiary education can increase innovation by up to 30 per cent and stimulate economic growth by up to 2.5 per cent.

Several countries are taking action to address gender inequalities, such as Australia, Georgia and Nepal. They are strengthening the mandate of national mechanisms to promote gender equality and eliminating gender-based inequalities in legal frameworks and policies.




Gender equality is the ability to live life with equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. It’s a fundamental human right and a necessary part of creating a more peaceful and prosperous world, according to the United Nations.

While many countries have a strong record of progress toward gender equality, there are still significant challenges to overcome. For example, the UN reports that the world is not on track to achieve SDG 5 - ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls - by 2030.

Despite these setbacks, gender equality is essential to achieving the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It can accelerate progress and strengthen commitments at regional and global levels and will ensure that all people have access to economic opportunity, social protection and quality education.

One of the key factors that contribute to ensuring that women enjoy all their rights is to provide them with equal opportunities in employment and entrepreneurship. This can be done through laws and regulations.

The World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law Index analyses laws and regulations that affect women’s employment and entrepreneurship in 190 economies. It aims to measure the extent to which laws are fair and ensure that men and women are treated equally in a range of legal rights.

While the WBL Index is a good indicator of the state of women’s rights, there are some gaps between the index and actual laws. For instance, the WBL index shows that only half of all laws in the area of Mobility and Entrepreneurship come close to treating men and women equally.

This is a huge difference, and it has led to the widening of the global gender employment gap. As of 2021, there was a gap of 8.5 percentage points for men and 12.3 percentage points for women.

Achieving gender equality requires women’s full and effective participation in all spheres of society, including political, economic and public life. It also requires women to have the same opportunities as men for leadership positions. This will require governments to make policies and change systems to ensure that women are treated fairly in all areas of society.




In the 21st century, women’s rights to education, employment and political participation have come a long way. But they still face many barriers and obstacles. Despite the progress made, gender equality is a challenge that requires strong political will and bold action.

Gender discrimination is rooted in social and cultural norms that permeate everything from political and legal structures, to economic and educational institutions, family life, and mass media. These norms and practices reinforce women’s subordination, economic dependence, and limited access to resources and opportunities.

Efforts to achieve a society with equal opportunities between men and women are often met with resistance and even violence, based on assumptions about gender and power. Moreover, the separation of the "public" and "private" spheres continues to be an important source of inequality. This divide is reflected in discriminatory laws that deny women their right to vote, to access education and to own property.

One of the most effective ways to address gender inequality is by ensuring women’s full and equal participation in decision-making at all levels. This requires greater investment in women’s statistics and policies, as well as a broader commitment to women’s rights from governments at all levels.

Governments must also increase their investment in women’s capacity to lead. This will require putting more women in leadership positions, increasing their access to political capital and financial resources, and empowering them with tools that enable them to make decisions.

Another crucial component of achieving gender equality is to ensure that women and girls have access to justice and are treated fairly. This can be done through the implementation of laws, policies and budgets that protect women’s rights.

Laws need to cover a wide range of issues, from access to sexual and reproductive health services to protection from domestic violence and forced marriage. They also need to include provisions that prohibit gender discrimination, such as in the hiring process or pay discrimination.

Finally, laws need to promote gender-sensitive economic policies. These should ensure that women and girls have access to education, employment, land and other forms of property rights, and inheritance. They also need to recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work, as well as gender-sensitive public services.

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