Gender and the Sustainable Development Goals

Eun Mee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) began in 2016 with great hopes that they will promote social development, economic development, and environmentally sustainable development with the motto, “Leave No One Behind” (UN 2016). In particular, SDGs’ goal 5, “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls” (UN 2016). However, persistently high gender gap was found in many countries around the world whether they are developed or developing. The 2016 Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), which examines gender inequality across four key areas of health, education, economy and politics, showed that the gender gap widened in many countries, and the gap in “economic participation and opportunity” showed the largest gender gap compared to health, education and political participation (World Economic Forum 2016). Interestingly, the GGGI do not match the global ranking of countries based on their GDP size, GDP per capita, or even the level of poverty. Thus, in order to deal with the underlying causes of deep-rooted and persistent gender inequality we must develop more culturally nuanced and contextualized approaches in the SDGs to tackle gender inequality (Song & Kim 2013). Gender inequality is simply not acceptable in the world where half of the world’s citizens are not provided with the same rights as the other half. It is also economically less productive to rely on only half of the world’s labor force to help eradicate poverty. Education, employment, and full empowerment of women and girls must be a priority for the SDGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • empowerment
  • gender
  • inequality
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • UN


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