Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals:

The Gender Snapshot 2021

The 2021 edition of Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2021 brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the progress made since 2015 but also the continued alarm over the COVID-19 pandemic and its immediate effect on women's well-being, including the threat it poses to future generations. As the report shows, women and girls remain disproportionately affected by the socioeconomic fallout of the pandemic, struggling with lost jobs and livelihoods, derailed education and increased burdens of unpaid care work. Women's health services, already poorly funded, faced major disruptions and undermined women's sexual and reproductive health. And despite women's central roles in responding to COVID-19, including as front-line health workers, they do not have the leadership positions they deserve.

For the first time, the report also brings together the latest data for each indicator under Goal 5 to track global and regional progress towards gender equality. The assessment reveals a long road ahead. Globally, only 1 of the 18 indicators (including sub indicators) is assessed as being "close to target". Where data are available over time, they reveal limited or no progress across regions. The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet known but is expected to further erode progress. Strong legal and policy action as well as resources for implementation are critical to stem the tide and get back on track. Moreover, data gaps need to be urgently addressed. In 6 out of 18 indicators global data remain insufficient to assess current levels. Trend data are even more sparse. Only 2 of the 18 indicators have sufficient data to assess progress over time across all regions. Without a bold commitment to fill these gaps, the picture of progress will remain incomplete and unless progress is accelerated, the global community will fail to achieve SDG 5.

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