2020 is a watershed year for women. It marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, the 20th anniversary for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the 10th anniversary of UN Women and the Women’s Empowerment Principles. However, despite all efforts to date, no country in the world has completely achieved gender equality. Latest data from the World Economic Forum estimates it will take another 257 years to reach economic equality.
Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory, EdPlus and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability have been leading a global effort to advance UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This initiative was featured at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. Amanda Ellis, a senior sustainability scholar and the executive director of the Hawaii and Asia pacific region for the ASU Wrigley Institute, led a panel with the Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary General Martin Chungong, UN Women Deputy Executive Director Anita Bhatia and the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians to highlight the critical role of legal change in advancing women’s rights and economic prosperity for all.
An EdPlus video showcasing the business case for change was very well received. McKinsey estimates that between $12-$28 trillion could be added to the global economy were gender equality to be achieved, and the World Bank estimates up to $160 trillion is lost over lifetime earnings due to pay inequality.