The Azerbaijan State News Agency


UNESCO is stepping up the evidence base for gender equality

UNESCO is stepping up the evidence base for gender equality

Baku, April 20, AZERTAC

Progress on gender equality is slowing, and the world must get back on track, according to the UNESCO’s official website.

With gender-based violence and discrimination persistently high around the world, UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector is stepping up its evidence to dismantle patriarchal constructs that confine women and men to stereotypical roles and continue to have an immeasurable impact on women’s well-being, freedoms and empowerment.

UNESCO launched the first-time measurement framework of gender-based resilience to assess the status quo and inform policy making at the 3rd Global Forum against Racism and Discrimination in São Paulo, Brazil, in December 2023. The first report, “Empowering women for the good of society”, showed how gender gaps in wages, representation in decision-making, education, science, business, and safety not only hinder women’s empowerment, but negatively impact our collective social and economic resilience.

The numbers speak for themselves. A third of both women and men see women earning more than their husbands as a problem. In countries where women spend up to two hours more than men on unpaid care and domestic work per day, their employment rate is around 50%, but it reduces to 30-40% in countries where they spend four or more hours more than men.

To explore opportunities for change, UNESCO delivered “The Weight of Words”, an AI-powered analysis that sheds light on the impact of gender-coded language in job postings on women’s participation and upward mobility in the workforce. It shows how addressing gendered language rooted in sexist stereotypes in the labour market could be a great cost-effective fix to bring positive payoffs to both societies and economies.

Empowering women and girls requires meaningful engagement from men and boys to combat gender stereotypes, social and cultural norms, and harmful role models that push men to embrace aggression, dominance, emotional suppression, and entitlement to women’s bodies.

Three out of five men globally are pressured into the role of “breadwinners”, while societies continue to discriminate against women and girls, forcing them on less fulfilling — if not entirely unfulfilling — paths. “Engaging men for gender equality in the Global South: Perspectives from the UNESCO Maputo Dialogue”, written by Robert Morrell, pioneer of Critical Masculinities Studies in South Africa, with insights from stakeholders from Botswana, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Grenada, Iceland, Jamaica, Mexico, Mozambique, South Africa, Sweden, and Zimbabwe, presents advice to design effective solutions at the grassroots level.

The Gender Equality Quest in Video Games” — another UNESCO publication to look out for in 2024. Video games are worlds of gender inequalities and stereotypes. Women represent almost half of all gamers, but only 5% of game protagonists are women. Women comprise just 16% of executive positions in the top 14 gaming companies. The pervasiveness of violence in video games, which reaches the daily lives of 3.38 billion gamers, can seem to perpetuate flawed notions of masculinity and nurture harmful behaviours. At the same time, gamers and developers around the world are leading positive change. Together with Eight Goals One Foundation, UNESCO will explore the potential of the video game industry and community to transform mentalities for the better, including combating online harassment and abuse.

This diversity of research is part of UNESCO’s Transforming MEN’talities Programme, established at the 219th Session of UNESCO’s Executive Board in March 2024. Led by UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector, the programme aims to change mindsets and policies by unravelling the root causes and consequences of gender-based discrimination and sharing best practices on successfully engaging all members of society — but particularly men and boys — for gender equality.

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