Burford Asks… What does the 2022 SDG Gender Index tells us about progress? 

Burford Asks – Part 1: What does the 2022 SDG Gender Index tells us about progress on gender equality? from Burford Capital on Vimeo.

Burford Asks – Part 2: What does the 2022 SDG Gender Index tells us about progress on gender equality? from Burford Capital on Vimeo.

Burford’s Chief Marketing Officer Liz Bigham sits down with Director of Equal Measures 2030 Alison Holder to discuss key takeaways from the 2022 SDG Gender Index. Equal Measures 2030 is a multi-sectoral partnership of grassroots organizations, international NGOs and private sector which is collaboratively working to connect data and evidence with advocacy and action to achieve the SDGs for girls and women. In this video she explains: 

– What the 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index is and what were the key findings from the report
– How the Covid-19 pandemic has set women back on gender equality
– Some of the ways companies in the private sector can promote woman and do their part to close the gender gap 

Equal Measures 2030 takes a bold new step in its strategic growth and organisational evolution 

Equal Measures 2030 (EM2030) is proud to share that it is embarking on an exciting new phase of growth, as it becomes a fiscally sponsored project of Panorama Global (Panorama), a platform for social change.  Under this innovative model, the EM2030 team and partners will continue to lead on mission, strategy, and programming content, but will now also benefit from Panorama’s vital administrative support and global infrastructure.  The new arrangement will take effect as of May 1st, 2022. 

Commenting on the upcoming transition, Alison Holder, Executive Director of Equal Measures 2030 said, “Panorama’s fiscal sponsorship model is exactly what Equal Measures 2030 needs to support our next phase of growth.  We are clear about our mission and values, and guided by our five-year strategy.  By joining Panorama, we will benefit from their operational expertise and shared services, allowing us to focus more energy on the data and advocacy work we know drives real change for girls and women around the world.” 

“Panorama is pleased to welcome Equal Measures 2030 as a new partner. We applaud EM2030 for their vision, tools, and collaboration in the field of gender equality and achieving the SDGs. Panorama is excited about helping EM2030 navigate the next stage of growth and scale they are attaining to improve the lives of women and girls across the globe,” said Sarah Vaill, Panorama’s Vice President, Programs. 

This transition marks an evolution from EM2030’s current arrangement with Plan International, which hosted and part-funded the EM2030 Secretariat between 2016 and 2022.  Plan International’s support as EM2030’s first institutional host has been instrumental in bringing to fruition the shared vision developed by the EM2030 partners.   

David Charles Thomson, Executive Director Strategy & Collaboration, Plan International, said: “We are incredibly proud to be a founding partner of EM2030 and for the chance to have served on the Partnership Council over the last seven years. Gendered data regarding girls is crucial to highlighting the specific needs of girls, and to advancing our mission of gender equality, and we look forward to seeing where this bold move will take EM2030, and to working with them, and all the partners, as we go forward.” The EM2030 team is working closely with colleagues at Plan International and Panorama to ensure a smooth transition, leading up to May 1st.   

“EM2030 is grateful to its staff, partners, funders, and our wider stakeholder network for their support and patience as we work through the complex processes of transferring our operations over the coming days.  After many months of preparation in the background, we are working through the final few steps before our team and programmes are fully up and running as a project of Panorama,” Holder said.  “We are confident that this next step in our partnership’s journey is the right one to ensure we can go even further towards fulfilling our mission and playing a unique role in the feminist eco-system, connecting data and evidence with advocacy and action on gender equality.”  

A world with gender equality would not push for endless war

Gender equality and international peace and prosperity are inextricably linked–but progress has been dangerously slow in recent years.

By Alison Holder via Fortune

International Women’s Day 2022 may struggle to cut through in this time of global uncertainty, with news feeds filled with threats of “World War 3” and the fallout of the global pandemic. 

There may be a few weary branding campaigns that mention the day, some half-hearted corporate presentations about increasing diversity in the boardroom, maybe some people will even add a banner to their Twitter photo on March 8. But underneath this, there is a sense of malaise and distraction: “We don’t have time to worry about gender equality this year when there’s a war to win.”   

However, ignoring the links between gender equality and international peace and prosperity would be a grave mistake. These issues are inextricably linked. International Women’s Day must be a reminder that no country has reached gender equality–and that progress in recent years has been slow at best. Less than a quarter of countries are making “fast” progress towards gender equality and one in every three countries is either making no progress at all or is moving in the wrong direction. 

Would a more gender-equal world also be one that is safer and more peaceful? The simple–and evidence-based–answer is a resounding yes.

Gender equality has been shown to be the most important predictor of peace–more so than a country’s wealth, level of democracy, or religious identity. Gender-equal countries are less likely to go to warto use force first during conflicts, or to be involved in violent international crises. States that invest in women are more likely to be wealthystable, and democratic.  It is for these reasons that gender equality has been described as “the taproot of international security.”

Why? Simply because women would be equally represented in positions of power and hold their rightful seats at decision-making tables. Today, women hold just a quarter of ministerial or senior government positions.

Who is around the NATO table making crucial decisions about how to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Just four of the 30 NATO countries (13%) are led by women. Peace agreements which include women are 35% more likely to last at least 15 years, and yet seven out of every 10 peace processes still did not include women mediators or women signatories.

We also know that the more women in government, the greater the attention given to social welfare, legal protection, and transparency in government and business. It’s a virtuous circle: Governments with higher percentages of female ministers pursue more targeted policies that support gender equality.

From the links between testosterone in the male-dominated banking sector and risk-taking behaviors that contributed to the 2008 financial crash, to “toxic masculinity” and nuclear armament, it’s not difficult to see how greater gender equality would benefit us all, especially in times of international conflict.

Ensuring women have equal participation and representation is just one part of the puzzle when it comes to the links between gender equality and international security. Systemic discrimination against women is itself a form of domination and exploitation which is then manifested in state security and control. It should not be surprising to find that states that have little interest in fulfilling the rights and well-being of women also have little interest in a rules-based international order.

Our tolerance for pervasive gender inequality sits alongside our tolerance for a world made up of “haves” and “have nots”, where capital reigns supreme, where two-thirds of countries have increased military spending (instead of investing in health, welfare, and fighting climate change), and where international cooperation is increasingly overtaken by inward-looking nationalism.

In a patriarchal world, dominated by the power of men, escalations of “military might” become seen as the only way.  In a more gender-equal world, we would benefit from the differing viewpoints, perspectives, and talents of our whole population. Perhaps more countries would have instituted Feminist Foreign Policies. Other strategies to deal with Putin’s aggression could have been put in place sooner. Following the money, drastic increases in financial transparency, and crackdowns on corruption, as well as renewed internationalism, diplomacy, and cooperation could have prevented the dangerous escalation we see today. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. We know that rapid change on gender equality is possible. While global progress on gender equality is moving far too slowly to reach key targets globally by 2030, it is encouraging that more than half of countries worldwide have been moving in the right direction in recent years–and some at a relatively rapid pace.   

We cannot let doom-scrolling push International Women’s Day down the priority list this year. Instead, we need to remember that gender equality is core to solving the discontent and disunity that so unsettles our world. In 2022 we need to not just remember International Women’s Day but reclaim its activist history and elevate our calls for a more equal, stable, and prosperous–future.

Alison Holder is the director of Equal Measures 2030, a global Gender Equality Partnership of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PLAN International, FEMNET, ONE Campaign, and others.

Gender Equality: Great Strides, But More Work Ahead

By Alison Holder via US News

“We are done talking.” The words of young advocate Shantel Marekera, who spoke alongside world leaders at the opening ceremony of the Generation Equality Forum last week in Paris, sum up the theme of this landmark gender equality event. As women’s rights activists from around the world gathered in Paris and virtually, their calls for action, funding, and accountability for commitments were loud, consistent, and clear. Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also led to incredible regressions in gender equality (President Emmanuel Macron of France described COVID as an “anti-feminist virus”), the activists’ calls were also urgent.

The Generation Equality Forum in Paris came 26 years after the Beijing conference, where 189 countries agreed to the most progressive and ambitious blueprint ever for action on women’s rights. It was in Beijing in 1995 that Hillary Clinton made the watershed statement that “Women’s rights are human rights. And human rights are women’s rights.” And last week, Clinton joined U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Macron and other global leaders at the forum in Paris to remind us of those words.

As the three-day Generation Equality Forum came to a close, what prospect for gender equality activists’ demands that governments and other powerful actors “stop talking and start funding”?

What if we could make every woman and girl count? – Gates Foundation

The rural women of Kitui county in Kenya had a serious problem. In this largely rural county, they traditionally cooked family meals and the staple Ugali in pots balanced on three stones over an open wood fire. They coughed and wheezed, their eyes irritated by the thick smoke that turned the walls of their unventilated kitchens black. They also spent at least two hours a day collecting firewood. Yet the energy policies adopted at the national level had not filtered down to the counties.

GROOTS Kenya, a grassroots women’s movement, organized and trained the rural women in Kitui county to measure the impact of unclean cooking in their communities, so they could figure out how bad this all was. They found that over two-thirds of families used the unclean three-stone method for everyday cooking. 

Not One Country Is on Track to Reach Its Goal of Gender Equality – Global Citizen

“If we had gender equality in the workplace we could add 26% to GDP — that’s a lot of money.”

By Emma Batha

VANCOUVER, June 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — World leaders are failing 1.4 billion girls and women on promises of a fairer future, according to a global index launched at the world’s biggest gender equality conference.

The research shows the world is way off track to meet a 2030 deadline for achieving gender equality, with not one country having reached the “last mile.”

Some 8,000 delegates from more than 165 countries — from world leaders to grassroots activists — are attending the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver.

New report says urgent action is needed for gender equality – Devex

CANBERRA — The global score for gender equality is “poor” with urgent action required globally to achieve the gender targets required that have been set in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The SDG gender index, released by Equal Measures 2030 at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference, expands upon a release in September 2018 that focused on Colombia, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and Senegal to incorporate the progress both developed and developing countries are making against gender 14 of the 17 SDGs — including health, gender-based violence, climate change, work, and more. The results show that none of the 129 countries analyzed achieving a rating of “excellent.”

Countries that rank highest on gender equality can be found in Europe — Denmark followed by Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. Countries ranked the lowest have faced conflict and other fragility — Niger, Yemen, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Chad.

No country in the world meets the mark on gender equality, but these are the best performers – CNBC

As many as 40% of the world’s female population live in countries that fail to meet the mark on basic measures of gender equality, while a further 40% face substandard equality conditions.

That’s according to a new report released Monday by Equal Measures 2030, which found that 2.8 billion women and girls globally live in countries with “poor” or “very poor” levels of gender equality, despite ongoing efforts to bridge the gap.

The Gender Index measured the countries’ success in achieving gender equality across 14 of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It found that no country in the world has yet “achieved the promise of gender equality,” nor does any one country score consistently well across all measures.

Not one single country set to achieve gender equality by 2030, report finds – Standard

No single country is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030, according to a new index.

The world is way off track to meet a 2030 deadline for achieving gender equality, with no country having reached the “last mile”.

Even the Nordic states, which topped the list, would need to take huge strides to fulfil gender commitments in the 17 UN sustainable development goals, which 193 countries signed up to in 2015.

Philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, described the report as “a wake-up call to the world”.

World leaders falling short on gender equality pledges, research shows – Japan Times

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – World leaders are failing 1.4 billion girls and women on promises of a fairer future, according to a global index launched at the world’s biggest gender equality conference.

The research shows the world is way off track to meet a 2030 deadline for achieving gender equality, with not one country having reached the “last mile.”

Japan ranked 21st on the index with a score of 80.6, behind countries such as Australia (85.2) and Italy (81.8), but ahead of the United States, ranked 28th with a score of 77.6, and South Korea at 41st place with a score of 72.6.

No country in the world is set to achieve gender equality by 2030 – Independent

No country in the world is set to achieve gender equality by 2030, a new report has found.

On Monday 3 June, the Equal Measures 2030 partnership released its inaugural Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Gender Index, a report which assessed the state of gender equality across 129 countries across the globe.

Telling Numbers: On new gender equality index, India is 95th in 129 countries – Indian Express

The ranking found that the world is far from achieving gender equality with 1.4 billion girls and women living in countries that get a “very poor” grade.

A new index to measure global gender equality, launched on Monday, ranks India at 95th among 129 countries. The SDG Gender Index comes close on the heels of the gender gap index of the World Economic Forum where India was ranked 108th.

How the ranking works

The SDG Gender Index has been developed by Equal Measures 2030, a joint effort of regional and global organisations including African Women’s Development and Communication Network, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and International Women’s Health Coalition. It accounts for 14 out of 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals) that cover aspects such as poverty, health, education, literacy, political representation and equality at the workplace.