SDG 5 Gender Equality

SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all girls and women. This goal examines the ways women and girls are discriminated against in our world and how to put a stop to it. From ending violence and exploitation to empowering women, or protecting their mental, physical and sexual health, there are many areas to focus on if we are going to achieve this goal by 2030. Just like many of the other Sustainable Development Goals, gender equality is interconnected with the other goals —everyone’s actions and support make the difference in achieving gender equality. Increased education on harmful practices, cultural norms and forms of marginalization will us to better understand the issues women and girls face, the rights they have and the responsibility of our government and institutions to protect them. Additionally, for society at large, learning how to dismantle sexist, violent and discriminatory language, attitudes and behaviours will contribute to changing our social and cultural understandings of discrimination and gender.

You might be able to align your teaching to this SDG if you want your students to be able to:

  • Create solutions towards ending forms of discrimination against women and girls.
  • Investigate (and work towards ending) forms of violence and exploitation against women and girls in both public and private spheres.
  • Critique policies and practices affected by gender such as unpaid care and domestic work.
  • Understand the importance of full and effective participation for women in leadership and decision-making.
  • Analyze access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all people.

You might consider having your students reflect, share, act in some of these ways:

  • Challenge sexist language . We can make advances in gender equality when we challenge sexist and gender-biased language, especially in the classroom. Ask the speaker or writer how their comments reinforce gender stereotypes or what their intention might be (more tips on challenging conversations here)
  • Talk about health issues. Normalize women’s hygiene and sexual health topics to help others see them as affairs that affect us all.
  • Encourage your students to stand up to violence and bullying. Check in with people and ask if they need help.
  • Be encouraging. Encourage female students to stay in school, and look for ways to empower female colleagues.

Some curricular connections and questions for students might be:

Media – How does the media report on gender issues? How do you think this impacts the ways we talk about gender issues in society

Environment – How is climate change a gender equality issue?

Poverty, wealth  and power – How does the poverty cycle affect women uniquely? How does a lack of power or resources affect the lives of women?

Indigenous Peoples – What are gender equality barriers and opportunities within Indigenous communities?

Peace and conflict – How are women supporting peace and post-conflict reconstruction in our world?

Oppression and genocide – How are women and girls uniquely impacted by oppression and genocide?

Gender politics – What laws would you put in place to ensure gender equality? How would you monitor them?

Social justice and human rights – How have women’s social justice and rights changed over the course of history?

Health and biotechnology – What are important health issues facing women today? What policies and practices are needed to support them?


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