Despite the fact that progress has been made toward gender equality and women’s empowerment in recent years, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence around the world. Even today, 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, and 49 countries currenly have no laws protecting women from domestic violence. A fundamental human right, gender equality is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and truly sustainable world.

Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, equal access to education, health care, decent work and representation in political and economic decision-making processes. Countering deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

Physical & Sexual Violence

Domestic violence including physical and sexual assault is still prevalent globally. Between 2005 to 2016 for 87 countries, 19 per cent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the previous 12 months. In the most extreme cases, such violence can lead to death. In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, compared to 6 per cent of male victims.

Child marriage, one of the most prevalent forms of child abuse, is declining, but not fast enough.  In 2015, just over 1 in 4 women globally said they were married before the age of 18. The harmful practice of female genital mutilation/cutting has declined by 24 per cent since around 2000, but remains high in certain countries. More than 1 in 3 girls living in these regions have undergone this procedure, frequently against their will.

Sexual coercion from partners is another important indicator of gender equality, and just over half (52 per cent) of women between 15 and 49 years of age who are married or in union make their own decisions about consensual sexual relations and use of contraceptives and health services. This data is from 2012 for 45 countries, 43 of which are in developing regions.

Women In Management & Senior Executive Roles

Despite some progress in this area, women are still under-represented in managerial positions. In many countries, fewer than a third of senior- and middle-management positions were held by women in 2015.  And while women have made important inroads into political office around the world, their representation in national parliaments currently sits at 23.7 per cent – far from parity.

Unpaid Domestic & Care Work

Women continue to spend more than three times more time on unpaid domestic and care work than men. This discrepancy accounts for a large proportion of the gender gap in unpaid work. Globally, women’s participation in single or lower houses of national parliaments reached 23.4 per cent in 2017, just 10 percentage points higher than in 2000. Such slow progress suggests that stronger political commitment and more ambitious measures and quotas are needed to boost women’s political participation and empowerment.


Global Progress On Access To Education

UNICEF’s Associate Director of Education Jo Bourne explains what progress has been achieved in the past 15 years on access to education, why this goal is important not just for children and young people, and how quality education benefits society as a whole. Education helps people lead healthier lives and allows society to be more peaceful and secure.

Increasing Efforts Supporting Quality Education

At a General Assembly high-level event, top UN officials called for greater efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 and ensure inclusive, quality and equitable education for all children, youth and adults throughout their lives.

Education For A Digital Future

Information and communication technologies accelerate progress towards each SDG. Hands-on learning experiences using digital technologies, robotics and coding help solidify students’ hard and soft skills for an increasingly digital future.


Gender equality and economic growth go hand in hand. The private sector must promote women’s and girls’ empowerment to enhance business performance –  national growth rates will grow – in double digits in many cases. Further, investing in women’s empowerment benefits both the women and their children, providing value to families and communities, lowering poverty rates and improving education.

Businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights, but they also have the opportunity to support and invest in empowerment initiatives, partner with other businesses, governments and other stakeholders, and influence public policies on women and work. The private sector provides 90 per cent of jobs in developing countries, technological innovation and capital creation/investment, and thus it is critical that businesses lead the fight for gender equality globally.

Private sector leaders are developing new policies, practices, and initiatives to advance women’s empowerment in every sphere of their lives. Companies need to continue aligning their operations with global priorities on gender equality, and scale up actions that directly support the empowerment and development of women and girls.

GRI, UNGC Release 'Practical Guide' for Companies to Report Their Impact on the SDGs

Many companies already act and report on climate change, water management and labor conditions. This guide can help companies take stock of their current actions and discover additional priorities to contribute to achieving the SDGs (read more).

KPMG: How to Report on the SDGs & Global Goals

4 in 10 of the world’s largest companies already reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their corporate reporting, suggesting that business interest in the SDGs has grown quickly since their launch in September 2015 (read more).

Project Breakthrough: Growing The Businesses of Tomorrow

If we are going to achieve a sustainable future, as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the role of business will be critical. In fact, if viewed in the right way, achieving the SDGs presents huge market opportunities for businesses (read more).


1) Media Package

  1. Program Photographs & Illustrations (Max. 10 Images)
  2. Detailed Project Description (Max. 500 Words)
  3. Optional: URL/Link to Supporting Video

2) Financial & Strategic

In order to determine financial performance & potential for scalability, please answer the following questions:

  1. Please describe how the SDG business initiative is linked to your company’s core competency/competencies.
  2. Please provide an overview of the business case associated with your SDG business initiative.
  3. Please provide evidence of planned program expansion over the coming quarters and/or fiscal years.

3) Magnetism & Inspiration

How has your business initiative been a source of magnetism and inspiration? Please provide examples of your company’s  influence on each of the following:

  1. Industry Impact
  2. Corporate Culture
  3. Key Stakeholder Groups

SDG #5 - Gender Equality - The Global SDG Awards

4) SDG Impact Metrics

What progress has your organization made towards achieving SDG #5? Please select and provide one (or more) supporting metrics to help evaluate your social impacts (see below for a list of possible options to select from).

Please describe how your company has:

  • Increased economic inclusion from women (i.e. – # of suppliers owned by women, suppliers owned or staffed by vulnerable, marginalized or underrepresented women).
  • Reduced physical, sexual or psychological violence (including domestic violence) against women and girls (by % population or total #).
  • Increased annual earnings for women and/or the # of leadership/ board positions for women (i.e. – within trade unions, corporate committees, trade associations, departments, etc.).
  • Increased access to management training and skill development for women (by % employees and total #).
  • Increased access to adequate parental leave, ongoing training and engagement efforts. How has this affected the # of employees that return to work after parental leave (and that were still employed 12 months after their return to work, by gender).
  • Other KPI (please insert and describe below).


OPTIONAL: Please provide a description/overview of 3rd party assurances relating to the verification of the metrics and figures provided above.


SDG #1 - No Poverty - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #2 - Zero Hunger - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #3 - Good Health & Well-Being - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #4 - Quality Education - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #5 - Gender Equality - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #6 - Clean Water & Sanitation - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #7 - Affordable & Clean Energy - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #8 - Decent Work & Economic Growth - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #10 - Reduced Inequalities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption & Production - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #13 - Climate Action - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #14 - Life Below Water - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #15 - Life On Land - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #16 - Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #17 - Partnerships For The Goals - The Global SDG Awards