29 May 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: Goal 5

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals carried out by the United Nations, United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is presenting a weekly series of articles on #SDGSinAcademia that highlights the importance of higher education in achieving the Goals. Featuring additional sources for use by faculty and students alike, this series is intended to inspire action on the SDGs and showcase activities and initiatives of UNAI member institutions.

29 May 2018 - This week we are featuring in our #SDGsinAcademia series Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


  • 5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation 
  • 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation 
  • 5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life 
  • 5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences 
  • 5.A Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
  • 5.B Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • 5.C Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

What are UNAI member institutions doing about Goal 5? Here are some examples:

La Salle University (Brazil) promoted in 2017 an international seminar on Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights to discuss issues such as feminism and the lifes of women in the brazilian penal system. Moreover, professors Paula Pinhal and Tatiana Vargas Maia have been researching issues related to gender equality. 

Ahfad University for Women (Sudan) hosts the Regional Institute of Gender, Diversity, Peace and Rights which is focused on awareness, research and training on gender issues. In July 2018 an intensive course on Gender and Feminism: Concepts and Theories will take place

Mofid University (Iran) offers a course on Women's Rights to graduate students of the Master's programme in Human Rights, covering the issue from the perspective of Islam and the applicable standards of International Human Rights Law.

Assam Don Bosco University (India) developed the VanitAgrata programme to provide basic computer literacy training for women who work as teachers of the Rangmahal rural high school so as to make them able to use computers, internet and related technology efficiently. 

The American International University - Bangladesh (Bangladesh) has developed a Women Forum to create awareness on women's rights and empowerment, a Women Research Group to promote academic research on these topics and a scholarship programme for female students of the institution.

Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (Japan) professor Kumiko Nemoto is conducting this year a comparative international research on Gender in the Workplace. She has published her work on gender inequalities in the Japanese corporate environment.

The Berg Institute (Spain) dedicated one of its graduate programs on human rights to women and gender equality, including specific activities and seminars to address women's rights and academic activism as well as gender-based violence. 

The University of Macedonia (Greece) through its faculty organized conferences and conducted a critical analysis about the resolution S/RES/1325 adopted almost two decades ago by the United Nations Security Council on Women, Peace and Security.

Mercy College (United States) organized on International Women's Day a discussion about the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and also about gender parity. This year's celebration on campus of the Human Rights Day will be dedicated to Women's Issues in International Health.

Here you can take a look to a selection of the Activity Reports submitted by UNAI member institutions.


The following resources can help improving your knowledge and understanding about Goal 5 in particular and the SDGs in general:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide made by the United Nations Library in Geneva listing resources about the SDGs in general and about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports and additional resources.
  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, by geographical regions they relate to and by authors, to facilitate easy searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers a selection of tools such as concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This is a guide entitled Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • This guide entitled Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities also developed by the SDSN intends to help higher education institutions to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs highlighting the important role they have in implementing the SDGs through their teaching, research, operations and leadership, and providing practical guidance and examples.
  • This guide entitled Sustainable Development Goals - Human Response Alignments features the human element of change and the human response corresponding to each of the SDGs in order to quicken the global conversation about vital issues and to encourage the movement that supports the vision of the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals Explained: Gender Equality

Sustainable Development Goals Explained: Gender Equality
To achieve Goal 5 of the sustainable development agenda, the international community must commit to achieving gender equality in the next 15 years. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, explains how this mission is entirely possible.