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 UN, gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but necessary for peace, economic development and sustainability. 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.


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    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.

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    We are sometimes asked why our Digital Monthly is valuable long term, and how it differs from our print issue. Here are the reasons.

    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 - 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.


    Iran’s protests resonate around the world

    Women around the world must be free to go where they like and dress as they please. Iran’s protests resonate in many countries, and not only those with predominantly Muslim populations.

    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. Inequality already starts in school, as girls do not have the same educational opportunities as boys in many countries.

    How education and employment improve gender equality

    To achieve gender equality, women must be empowered. Exclusion, discrimination and violence must end. The challenges are complex and multi-dimensional. Formal education and access to jobs make a huge difference.

    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.

    Partnering with women’s groups can curb gender violence

    The Covid-19 pandemic led to an increase in violence against women. South Sudan and other crisis-affected countries were impacted in particular. In the future, humanitarian organisations should work more closely with local women’s groups.

    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.

    Mexico wants to prevent teenage pregnancies

    Many low-income countries struggle with the problem of teenage pregnancies. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 18 % of all women giving birth are younger than 19. That is the second worst ratio behind only sub-Saharan Africa. The Mexican experience shows that education – and in particular sex education – makes a difference.

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    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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