2022 SDG Gender Index Report

2 mins

The 2022 SDG Gender Index finds little progress on gender equality at the global level between 2015 and 2020. The global Index score for gender equality stands at just 67.8 in 2020: only a slight improvement of less than two points since 2015.

If current trends continue, the global score will reach only 71 out of 100 by 2030, the deadline for the achievement of the SDGs. And even this projection could be seen as optimistic, given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has already had on the well-being of girls and women worldwide

Key Findings

  • Progress on gender equality has been too slow, too fragile and too fragmented: there was little progress on gender equality at a global level between 2015 and 2020.
  • If current trends continue, the world will reach an Index score of only 71 out of 100 by 2030, the deadline for the achievement of the SDGs.
  • Not one of the 144 countries in the SDG Gender Index has achieved gender equality, and no country is the world’s best performer – or even among the world’s top ten performers – across all SDGs. Every country has more to do to realize the vision of gender equality embedded within the goals.
  • Less than a quarter of countries are making ‘fast progress’ towards gender equality; a third of countries are either making ‘no progress’ at all or are moving in the ‘wrong direction’.
  • On the positive side, more than half of countries worldwide are moving in the right direction on gender equality.
  • However, in 2020, more than three billion girls and women still lived in countries with ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ scores for gender equality.

Overview of the Policy Recommendations

The 2022 SDG Gender Index sets out a blueprint for change, based on six cross-cutting themes that often characterize the countries and regions making some progress on gender equality.

  • Reform and apply inequality laws. Countries that reform and fully implement gender equality laws have better health, nutrition and educational outcomes for women and their families, more resilient employment for women, and more women in their parliaments.
  • Invest in public services and social (including care) infrastructure. The social transformation needed for gender equality must be funded, which requires gender-responsive budgets, progressive taxation and strong investment in public services and public (including care) infrastructure.
  • Promote the leadership, participation and voice of girls and women. The key is to combat gender norms and promote role models, with the greater visibility of women in public life creating a virtuous circle of participation.
  • Close the gender data gaps. This means investing in improving data infrastructure and formalizing the idea of a gender data ecosystem, but also mobilizing and building bridges between different stakeholders and data communities, and making good use of ‘big data’.
  • Invest in, create space for, and listen to feminist organizations and movements. Little progress on women’s rights would have been made without pressure and advocacy from these organizations and movements. They need proper resourcing and safe, secure spaces in which to operate and advocate.
  • Work with and empower girls and young women. Their voices should be heard in the decisions that affect them. Programmes, policies and laws designed with and for them, and funding for their groups, are critical for accelerated progress towards gender equality.

2021 The power of data-driven feminist movements

1 min

The critical role that feminist and girls’ and women’s rights movements1 play in the promotion of gender equality is increasingly well documented. Moreover, there is increasing recognition that when advocates are equipped with data, and the skills to effectively use them, their efforts to influence decision makers are likely to be more credible and result in more evidence-based decision-making. However feminist organizations frequently face constraints in resourcing (funding and personnel) and capacity needed to undertake data-driven advocacy. In many places, there is also a growing pushback on a ‘gender agenda’ and a shrinking civil society space overall. This combined with underinvestment in collecting and sharing timely, quality gender data collectively limit opportunities for feminist movements to influence decision makers with data.

Equal Measures 2030 works to address a number of these issues both directly through its programming and indirectly through its partnerships, advocacy, and communications with donors, UN actors, governments, and others. This paper delves into the evidence behind this approach and, in doing so, seeks to establish a shared understanding and set of recommendations on this topic for the Equal Measures 2030 partnership.