No country to achieve gender equality by 2030: Report

Washington: No country in the world is on the track to achieve gender equality by 2030, according to the first index to measure progress against a set of internationally agreed targets.

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said the SDG Gender Index launched on Monday “should serve as a wake-up call to the world”, the Guardian reported.

Even the Nordic states, which score highly in the index, would need to take huge strides to fulfil gender commitments in the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which 193 countries signed up to in 2015.

The goals are considered the blueprint for global efforts to end poverty and inequality and halt the climate crisis. The deadline to meet them is 2030.

The inaugural SDG Gender Index, developed by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership, found that 2.8 billion women and girls currently live in countries that are not doing enough to improve women’s lives.

Equal Measures 2030 is a partnership of civil society and the private sector, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, KPMG, Femnet, Plan International and Women Deliver.

It was set up in 2016 to provide women’s rights advocates with the data they need to hold governments to account for their SDG commitments.

The index measured progress in 129 countries, marking them from zero to 100 – 100 meaning equality has been achieved – on 51 targets in 14 of the goals.

According to the index, countries with an overall score of 90 or more are making excellent progress, while those scoring 59 or less are making very poor headway on achieving the goals.

The average overall score for the 129 countries in the index – home to 95 per cent of the world’s women and girls – was 65.7, considered a poor result in the scoring system.

Women’s under-representation in Parliament, the gender pay gap and gender-based violence were among the areas all countries were struggling to tackle.

Only 21 countries achieved marks of 80 or above, with the top country, Denmark, achieving 89.3.

The UK came 17th with a score of 82.2.

Twenty-one countries scored lower than 50, with Chad at the foot of the table with a mark of 33.4.