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.


Smriti Sharma


"Gender equality is a human right, especially as developing countries aspire for inclusive growth. I want to contribute to evidence-based policymaking in achieving this goal. My research at UNU examines the causes and consequences of female autonomy within households, in labour markets, and in broader society."

Araba Sey

Araba Sey


"When it comes to the digital gender divide, there is still a long way to go to close the gap. Around the world, women have less access to information technology and are underrepresented in tech industry leadership. I want to close this digital divide and encourage women and men alike to pursue education and careers in science and technology."

Ortrun Merkle

Ortrun Merkle


"Gender equality is fundamental in achieving peace and prosperity. I want to help create an environment where women can participate in all aspects of society equally. My research at UNU looks at how corruption affects women differently, and how it prevents political and economic participation of women."


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.

Women in Geothermal Science

There is a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the workplace — especially the sciences. This project highlights, through a documentary video, women’s positive impacts on sustainable energy production and explores the experiences of women scientists in the emerging field of geothermal energy.

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.