A call for equality
Gender equality is central to realising the Millennium agenda, which risks failure without the full participation of all members of society.
Within the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals, and at the heart of the United Nations itself, is the acknowledgement that the vulnerable, especially children, require special care and attention.
Gender equality produces a double dividend: advancing the rights of both women and children. Healthy, educated and empowered women have healthy, educated and confident daughters and sons. The amount of influence that women have over decisions in the household has been shown to positively impact the nutrition, health care and education of their children. But the benefits of gender equality go beyond their direct impact on children. Without it, it will be impossible to create a world of equality, tolerance and shared responsibility – a world that is fit for children.
By upholding women’s rights, societies protect girl children and female adolescents. Evidence has shown that women whose rights are fulfilled are more likely to ensure that girls have access to adequate nutrition, health care, education and protection from harm.
Gender equality also means that girls and boys have equal access to food, health care, education and opportunities.
Gender equality will not only empower women to overcome poverty, but also their children, families, communities and countries. When seen in this light, gender equality is not only morally right – it is pivotal to human progress and sustainable development.