New report says we must change our approach to achieve gender equality
In 2015, leaders from 193 countries agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—big, bold goals to be achieved by 2030. Each year, the
Goalkeepers Report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation attempts
to reveal how the world is doing.
Seven years in, the 2022
Goalkeepers Report aims to help people understand what the numbers
cannot say about progress. As the introduction
explains, development experts had no idea seven years ago that a novel
virus would appear, causing a once-in-a-century pandemic, or that wars would
begin in Ukraine and Yemen or that the rights of women from Afghanistan to the
United States would be flung back decades.
"As it stands now, we'd need to speed up the pace of our
progress five times faster to meet most of our goals—and even that might be an
underestimate, because some of the projections don't yet account for the impact
of the pandemic, let alone the war in Ukraine or the food crisis it kicked off
in Africa," Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates wrote. "As bad as the data
makes it seem, the real situation might be even worse. Or it might be better.
Because what's also not reflected in the numbers is the potential for human
In her essay
titled "Gender equality depends on women having power, not just 'empowerment,'
" French Gates asserts that economic progress for women is stalling
worldwide—and not just because of COVID-19.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's data partner Equal
Measures 2030 estimates that gender equality will not be reached until at least
2108. Why, after decades of efforts to improve the lives of women and girls, is
equality still so far out of reach?
"Here's the honest answer: It's because the world still
hasn't focused enough on gender equality—and when it does, it treats symptoms,
not the cause," French Gates writes.
She goes on to explain that one of the root causes is
economic inequality and says that we cannot talk about empowering women without
making sure they are actually gaining power in their families and communities.
here to read the essay and find out what French Gates says is the key to
the future of progress.
The 2022 Goalkeepers Report also shares the latest
data on 18 key data indicators. Click
here to read about the global progress for gender equality.
9 DECEMBER 2022