Gender equality

Gender equality and sustainable development

Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development: women represent half the world’s population, yet face systemic deprivations relative to men in all societies.

In Europe and Central Asia, inequalities persist between women and men in access to decent work and income. Women perform more than twice as much unpaid care and domestic work as men, reducing their ability to work for income. On average, the gender gap in labour force participation in 17 percent in the region. Women face multiple challenges as they try to advance their careers, while women earn on average 30 percent less than men. In addition, women entrepreneurs encounter more difficulties than men in accessing the finance, credit, skills, technology and networks they need to be successful in employment.

Women in Albania are taking on more leading roles in technology and innovation.
When households lack access to running water, it’s mostly women who have to provide it as part of their unpaid domestic and care work burden.
Self-employment programmes in Kosovo* are helping young women and men find their true calling.
Discrimination and disempowerment can trap Roma girls and women in a cycle of poverty and exclusion.

UNDP works to promote gender equality in sustainable development and economic growth by:

  • Implementing programmes aimed at creating jobs for women and men;

  • Advocating for national legal frameworks and development strategies for women’s economic empowerment;

  • Supporting governments and partners in the public and private sectors to recognize, redistribute and reduce women’s unpaid care and domestic work;

  • Providing women-led enterprises with grants, business development and mentoring support;

  • Supporting research on public policy initiatives to promote gender equality in decent work;

  • Proposing measures and policies that promote gender equality in the green economy.

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