Press release: To reach sustainable development for all, Asia and the Pacific must move faster on gender equality says ADB, UN Women report

Date: Monday, October 29, 2018

Countries in Asia and the Pacific must accelerate progress on gender equality in order to reach the ambitious and progressive global goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to a new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UN Women released at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women in Ha Noi.

Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific  Asia-Pacific SDG Repor: t Baseline and pathways for transformative change by 2030

The report, Gender equality and the sustainable development goals in Asia and the Pacific: Baseline and pathways for transformative change by 2030, is the first comprehensive review of the status of women and girls in Asia and the Pacific under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, which highlights the remaining challenges facing women and girls and how improving their situation can help achieve the SDGs. Under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, achieving gender equality is both a stand-alone goal (Goal 5) and a priority across the 16 other social, economic, and environmental goals, such as ending poverty and ensuring education for all. This comprehensive review of the available data to track progress on the status of women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region shows the strong interlinkages between achieving gender equality and achieving Agenda 2030.

“Gender equality must be addressed in its own right and as a catalyst of progress across the SDGs,” said ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono. “The findings and recommendations in the report provides an opportunity to overcome the deeply entrenched gender inequality through transformative change and support progress towards sustainable development in all dimensions: economic, social, and environmental.”

“Data and evidence can bring a deeper understanding of how gender discrimination and power relations exclude women (or men) from certain rights, institutions, and privileges. Overcoming deeply entrenched gender inequalities would not just improve the lives of women and girls. It would transform the world, empowering everyone to realize their full potential and live a life of dignity,” said Regional Director a.i. of UN Women for Asia and the Pacific Anna-Karin Jatfors. “This publication provides invaluable evidence to support the effort to make gender equality and sustainable development a reality for all.”

The report identifies the lack of gender data to track progress in countries in Asia and the Pacific, with some lacking data on 41 per cent or 36 of the 85 gender-related SDG indicators. It underscores the urgency to improve the production and use of gender statistics for implementing and monitoring the SDGs at the country level. The report uses available data in 57 countries and territories, helping to establish a baseline for governments to monitor and focus efforts on the gender equality commitments where they are most lagging.

Read the full press release on UN Women's regional website for Asia and the Pacific

Read the report