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Gender parity for reducing inequalities (SDG 10)

Anurit Kanti
Published Aug 22, 2021
Updated Oct 22, 2023

Why do we need to look at reducing inequalities from a gender lens?

  • Globally women earn 24% less than men, with varied gaps between countries.
  • They are also more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment, with up to 75% of women’s jobs being informal or unprotected in developing countries.
  • Worldwide, 83% of domestic workers are women with most not legally entitled to a minimum wage.

How is reduced inequalities and gender-linked?

There are 10 targets and 14 indicators to achieve SDG 10. Only 1 out of 14 indicators are gender-specific.

  • SDG 10 recognizes the linked objectives of gender and social equity in target 10.1 (accelerated income growth for the poorest); target 10.3 (equal opportunities); and target 10.4 (to support greater equality).
  • Acute impact of income inequality falls on women who are already disadvantaged. With less income and fewer assets than men, women, particularly single-mother households, are more likely to live below 50% of median income.
  • Evidence suggests that inequality between women and men in a household is a strong contributing factor to overall income inequality in society.
  • The poorest people overall earn less when women earn less. In 2016, UN Women reported that household inequality between women and men may account for up to 30% of all income inequality.

What outcomes can we achieve in SDG 10 if we reach gender parity?

  • In spite of more women being in the workforce, in politics, in leadership roles, breaking stereotypes and societal taboos, gender discrimination makes women prone to deeper disparities.
  • Gender inequalities in health, education and work intersect with multiple discriminations linked to race, ethnicity, caste, religion, location, sexuality, age, class or disability.
  • Social norms that treat women as second-class citizens in many cases translate into structural obstacles to progress, such as budgets that do not fund the services women need most.
  • Potentially unequal outcomes for women and men must be recognized in all spheres for policy making. Only then can deliberate actions be taken to correct them, within and across countries.