Blog: Amplify

17 Days, 17 Goals: Goal 5 - Gender Equality

Goal 5: Gender Equality

- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls -

Sustainable Development Goal 5 Gender Equality

This post is part of our blog series: 17 Days, 17 Goals. The blog series features foundations working on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals leading up to the first anniversary of the SDGs. The Council on Foundations Sustainable Development Goals & Philanthropy initiative is in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and SDG Philanthropy Platform. Find us on social media with #PhilSDGs.

Why do we need Goal 5?

  • Only about two thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school
  • Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector. The proportion of women in paid employment outside the agriculture sector has increased from 35 per cent in 1990 to 41 per cent in 2015
  • In America, girls of color are more likely to face poverty than white girls: over 60% of girls of color are born to families living on low incomes or below the poverty line

What are some of the targets?

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life

Featured: NoVo Foundation

Ending Violence Against Girls and Women

The Novo Foundation is one of many US foundations focused on the empowerment of women and girls both in the US and around the world. They are the seventh largest funder of Goal 5: Gender Equality, which made up 8% of US funding of the topics of the SDGs between 2010-2013, according to the Foundation Center.

"This is a grave human rights issue - but it's also a development issue." 

- Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN Human Rights Commissioner, on the topic of child brides

Earlier this year, the NoVo Foundation announced a $90 million investment to support and deepen the movement for girls and young women of color in the United States. Grants will support grassroots programming and advocacy, as well as national-level policy and culture change efforts, that are girl-led, girl-driven and designed to address the systemic and institutional challenges faced by girls and young women of color across the country.

NoVo Foundation funds organizations seeking to end violence against girls and women, such as Girls Not Brides, which aims to end the practice of marrying girls under the age of 18. Freedom to enjoy and complete a childhood means that women and girls can complete an education, gain access to health resources, avoid risky pregnancies at too young an age, and be empowered to control their own destinies and security.

With programs like Just Detention International (JDI), NoVo Foundation makes inroads on Goal 5 by simultaneously addressing Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. JDI fights sexual violence in worlwide detention facilities, which addresses gender violence (Goal 5) and creates the transparent institutions that limit violence and promote rule of law called for in Goal 16.

The Novo Foundation's work on gender equality highlights the cross-cutting nature of the goals overall; although funders and programs may focus on women and girls specifcally, initatives focused on gender equality intersect and link to targets and indicators within other goals and focus areas. 

Please read more about the amazing work of our member: 

NoVo Foundation Gender Equality Initiatives


Resources & Information

  1. United Nations
  2. Literacy Project Foundation
  3. SDGFunders.org

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