Gender equality

Harnessing girls' power, energy, and creativity for a better future for all

Girl in Fijian school raises her arm

A fair chance

Throughout the world, the dreams and potential of girls are often thwarted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities. 

Great progress has been made in East Asia and Pacific towards girls’ school attendance and gender parity in education, but deeply rooted gender inequalities in the region keep girls and boys from having equal opportunities in their lives.

The higher value placed on boys can lead to sex selection before a child is even born. Girls are at risk of child marriage in some communities and early pregnancy. Women and girls are expected to carry domestic workloads and care for family members, while their voice and participation in public life carries much less weight. Violence against women and girls is another result of gender inequality.  

Deeply rooted inequalities keep girls and boys from having equal opportunities in their lives

three rohingya girls in class in Myanmar

Challenges and opportunities

Gender equality is emphasized in everything UNICEF does. Big changes are possible when appropriate policies and laws are designed, for example, to protect women in the home, in school and at the work place.

UNICEF works with partners, with both men and women, to address gender disparities through programmes and policies that respond to the needs of boys and girls, that transform gender norms and uneven power relations, and that ensure equal opportunities for all.

Student Angeline Chong speaks with UNICEF at her school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia