Gender Smart | March 9, 2017

Three priority actions to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030

The team at


UBS has identified three priority actions to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. That’s the language of Sustainable Development Goal №5, which the world committed to reach by 2030. A white paper from UBS, however, found SDG 5 is getting only 2.6 percent of total funding for the Global Goals. At that rate, it will take until 2100 to close the global gender gap.

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UBS calls out three specific issues that “have almost universal relevance for women’s professional and personal lives,” though in different ways in different parts of the world and among different economic classes:

Improving maternity provisions. Maternity leave is still low in most countries. In the U.S., for example, the standard is 12-weeks of maternity leave — unpaid. Latin America and Asia offer about the same in paid leave, but women’s workforce participation tends to be lower.

Relieving the burden of unpaid domestic work. Women spend twice as many hours as men on unpaid work. And that’s the global average. In places like India, women spend 10 times as many hours on unpaid work. The higher the rate of unpaid work women do, the lower the rate of women’s participation in the workforce, according to the OECD.

Increasing participation in STEM education. Science and math education leads to higher paying work, but only 16 percent of women graduate university with STEM qualifications, versus 30 percent of men.