While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
Check out the 10 emotive images that show how the need for global equality between men and women is more important today than ever before
1. White Robes, Saffron Dreams
A Mae Chi (Buddhist nun) sits and reads an old manuscript in Thailand.
There are between ten to twenty thousand Buddhist nuns living in Thailand. The Buddhist Sangha has strongly resisted and denounced the inclusion of women in this male-dominated world. These nuns are often subjected to abuse from the monks, which they endure thanks to a deeply entrenched belief that they will be reborn a man in the next life.
2. Dusk to Dawn
Two women farmers return from a long day harvesting in Harran, Turkey.
SDG Fact: Women work 2/3 of the world’s hours yet earn 1/10 of the world’s income.
Idil’s mother experienced female genital cutting in Ethiopia and suffered a fistula following the birth of her tenth child. She will not allow her daughters to be subjected to similar treatment and speaks out against the practice.
SDG Fact: More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
By @AndrewBurton/Getty Images
Malala Yousafzai gives an impassioned speech in front of the United Nations, pleading for equal rights to education.
Her first blog published in 2009 exposed how the Taliban’s increasing control over the Swat Valley was hindering girls education.
Enraged by her courage in Pakistan, the Taliban shot her in the face on a school bus in a failed assassination attempt. ‘’They thought that the bullets would silence us. But they failed,’’ the teen famously remarked during her powerful speech at the UN.
SDG Fact: 64% of illiterate adults are women. (womendeliver.org)
5. Cambodian Tragedy
A young woman in a Phnom Penh slum. Investigators later found her mother was pimping the drug-addicted girl nightly to upwards of 10 Cambodian men.
SDG Fact: The most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation. The victims of sexual exploitation are predominantly women and girls. (UNODC.org)
6. Restricted Land Ownership
Women are often at a disadvantage in countries that acknowledge customary or religious law where socio-cultural traditions effectively prohibit the ownership of land by females, even if their constitution claims equal rights.
SDG Fact: Women comprise an average of 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. Yet less than 20 % of landowners are women. (unwomen.org)
7. Child Bride
A mesmerizing shot of a girl holding her young child while both gaze into the camera lens.
SDG Fact: Every day, 39,000 girls are forced into marriage. (womendeliver.org)
8. Custody Rights
In some countries, the courts automatically grant custody rights to the father and women are left without any means of financial support. For example, in Bahrain, family laws are not systematized, enabling judges to deny mothers custody of their children.
9. Modern Suffragettes
Campaigners, some dressed as suffragettes, attend a rally calling for equal rights for men and women in London, England.
SDG Fact: Globally, women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages.
10. Stop violence against women
A Georgian woman sheds a tear at a protest following a woman’s suicide. The woman had been forced to marry a man and could not bear the violence forced upon her.
SDG Fact: Recent global prevalence figures indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.