Inequalities are a major obstacle to Sustainable Development and reduce the chances of social groups to meaningfully contribute to and participate actively in social, cultural, political and economic life. They divide societies along social, economic, cultural, political, and legal axes and cause significant deprivations on all levels. They unfold within states, between countries and regions, as well as within households. They are intertwined and crosscutting.
Given that gender inequalities prevail in all societies and are often cumulated with other inequalities and thereby reinforced, they need to be addressed specifically, as was already done in MDG 3 but which remains unfinished business.
Therefore, Switzerland promotes a stand-alone goal on gender equality and a transversal approach, integrating gender-sensitive targets in the formulation of other goals. It is particularly important to not only address the symptoms but the root causes of inequality and discrimination. Particular attention needs to be paid to preventing all forms of violence against women and girls and to recognising women as actors (not as victims of social change). Hence, Switzerland wishes to draw attention to all sectors which are crucial to effectively address gender inequality.