Sustainable Development Goal 5

Gender Equality

Achieving every Sustainable Development Goal depends on improving the lives of women, girls, men, and boys equally. But achieving gender equality demands urgent action to end harmful practices and violence against women and girls, and overcome the social, political, educational, and health barriers that deny them equal rights and opportunities. 

Because sustainable development relies equally on the contributions of women and men, UNU’s commitment to gender equality permeates everything we do. Our core gender research focuses on generating knowledge to support development policies that eliminate barriers for women and girls in health, education, employment, and resource access. Our work is giving voice to the unique experiences of women and girls, exposing their neglected rights, and empowering them to be leaders in emerging fields such as science and technology.


Maria C. Lo Bue


"Progress towards economic and gender equality is only possible if we address the barriers that women and girls currently face in realising their full potential. My research seeks to examine the drivers and implications of these gender challenges in order to find pathways towards economic and social empowerment."

Pascale Allotey


"Our greatest gains will come from acknowledging the complexity of the contexts in which we work, and from innovating the methods we use to find long-term sustainable solutions that address inequality."

Alix Debray


"Water security, gender equality and science-policy interaction are fundamental to move forward the fight against inequality and underdevelopment. My research serves this purpose and I truly think that building bridges between people from all origins, sectors, and ages will benefit one and a million."


Advancing Research for Gender Equality in the Digital Age

While the digital revolution presents many opportunities for women and girls, the digital gender gap is widening. The EQUALS Research Group works across academia, industry, government, and civil society to identify gaps in knowledge, highlight good practices, and produce knowledge to generate momentum to close the digital gender gap.

Promoting Gender Equity in the Frontline/Community Health Workforce

Through research in three African countries (Mozambique, Niger, and Zambia), this project is assessing country policies and programmes for community health workers, how the policies have been implemented, and their effectiveness in improving work conditions.

Female Agency, Mobility and Socio-cultural Change

The feminisation of migration is one of the most significant social patterns to have emerged in the course of the last century. Too often, female migrants occupy vulnerable positions in their host societies, engaging in domestic work, sex work and other unregulated sectors. This research programme focuses on this phenomenon in order to better understand why and how migration may offer routes to empowerment for women.