A woman in Iran is protesting for her rights.

Gender equality

Empowering women and girls is crucial to achieving gender justice.


Enforcing women’s rights

In many countries worldwide, women are facing discriminating laws. They have fewer opportunities to develop and receive less pay for the same work. All over the world, women are asserting themselves, but change is slow. There are setbacks as well, for example in Afghanistan, where the misogynist Taliban have taken over the regime.

Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls by 2030 is the fifth UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). According to the United Nations, gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but necessary for peace, economic development and sustainability on an international level. Not only should women and girls be equal to men before the law, but gender equality should also permeate everyday life. Where this is not the case, negative impacts on society as a whole emerge. 


    Recent articles

    New contributions on gender justice

    Gender equality is one of the core topics of D+C/E+Z. Our authors regularly report on the role of girls and women worldwide. Here you can find current articles related to the topic.

    Investing in Uganda’s culture

    Uganda’s vibrant arts scene has recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, but it does not receive enough support. Due to a lack of institutional programmes, young talent is self-taught.

    Patriarchal societies

    Social oppression

    Deep-rooted patriarchal traditions stand in the way of gender equality. Most power is still in the hands of men. They hold positions of influence - there is no real gender equality in political parliaments as well as in big corporations and organisations. The proportion of women in positions of power is growing, at least in parts of the world. However, barriers in policy and legislation need to be removed to accelerate this process.


    Mexico is slowly inching towards gender justice

    Mexico is inching towards gender justice, but progress remains too slow. Policymakers’ statements are strong, but many are not driven by deep convictions, so too few reforms are actually implemented. What really causes change is the pressure exerted by international organisations and the women’s rights movement.

    Women in work

    Economic disadvantages

    In many countries, women have less access to the labour market than men. If they find a job, they often receive less pay for the same work. In addition, they often do a lot of unpaid work, like taking care of relatives. Women are particularly affected by economic crises, because they tend to lack social security. Gender inequality already starts in school, as girls do not have the same educational opportunities as boys internationally.

    Sustainable sponges

    In Zanzibar, women have taken up the cultivation of climate-resilient sponges in the Indian Ocean. They diversify economic activities in their communities and develop a sustainable source of income. In marine ecosystems worldwide, sponges play an important role in protecting biodiversity, including from global heating.

    Violence against women

    Protect victims, prosecute perpetrators

    Violence against women takes many forms: from domestic violence to targeted rape in armed conflicts to social pressure in male-dominated societies. Child marriages are also part of it. They deprive girls and young women of the opportunity to shape their lives according to their own ideas. Gender-based violence increased during the Covid-19-pandemic. 

    In war as in peace

    At the moment, awareness of sexualised violence in conflicts is mostly focused on its strategic aspects. However, it is also vital to address systemic discrimination and violence against women in peacetime in order to ensure effective prevention and support for survivors.

    Leading a self-determined life

    Being in control of one's own body

    In many parts of the world, menstruation is stigmatised and girls and women feel ashamed of it. Childlessness is also often considered a stigma. In addition, women often do not have access to maternal health or legal and safe abortion. Especially during conflicts and natural disasters, sexual and reproductive health is often overlooked. All of this prevents women from having control over their own bodies. In some countries, however, significant progress has been made, for example in abortion rights, and relevant programmes have been set up. 

    Women in Cameroon fight for participation in the peace process

    In the past years, Cameroon has been rocked by violent conflicts, which have particularly affected women. A platform of women’s organisations is campaigning for a peace process with a special focus on women’s needs.

    Digital Monthly on empowering women

    Our Digital Monthly 2022/01 focuses on the situation of women and girls worldwide. Click on the title on the left to download the issue as a PDF free of charge.


    The contributions of our authors deal, among other things, with
    - sex education in Pakistan,
    - social discrimination against women in Burundi,
    - changing patriarchal traditions,
    - women's empowerment in Africa,
    - Argentina's new abortion law and
    - the precarious situation of women with disabilities.

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    Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require good governance – from the local to the global level.


    The UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to transform economies in an environmentally sound manner, leaving no one behind.