Launched by the United Nations in September 2018 by more than 30 founding media organizations – encompassing more than 100 media and entertainment outlets – the SDG Media Compact seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

About the SDG Media Compact


Today, 740 million women make their living in the informal economy with limited access to social protection, public services and infrastructure that could increase their productivity and income security. One in three women are likely to face violence in their lifetimes, yet public services, urban planning and transport systems are rarely planned with women’s safety and mobility in mind, reports UN Women.

This year’s International Women’s Day puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to remove barriers to gender equality, accelerate progress for women’s empowerment and improve social protection systems, infrastructure and access to public services to meet the needs of women and girls.

For further information on UN’s work on achieving Goal 5, including facts and figures, click here.


International Women’s Day – 8 March

For more than four decades, the United Nations has marked 8 March as International Women’s Day. While it’s a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, the day is also used to bring attention to the essential challenges affecting women everywhere.

According to UN Women, achieving a gender-equal world requires social innovations that work for everyone. From urban planning that focuses on community safety to e-learning platforms that take classrooms to women and girls, affordable and quality childcare centres, and technology shaped by women, innovation can take the race for gender equality to its finishing line by 2030.

The Economic Upside of Women’s Empowerment

Despite the clear economic benefit to gender equality, women still face gender discrimination across the world. In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take over two centuries to reach gender equality, given current trends.

Progress in this area is slow, but there are positive signs of change. UN News examines how UN Women and the UN Global Compact are ramping up efforts to promote the economic upside of gender equality, which is in the order of USD28 trillion, and how signing up to the Women’s Empowerment Principles is good for women, and good for business.

Gender gaps at work persist, says new ILO report

Work-related gender gaps have not seen any meaningful improvement for the last 20 years, but the path to progress is clear, says a new International Labour Organization report released on International Women’s Day.

Called A Quantum Leap for Gender Equality: For a Better Future of Work for All, the report says that it will take a quantum leap, not just hesitant incremental steps to close the gender gaps. Today, less than 50 per cent of women are employed compared to over 70 per cent of men. Women tend to climb the managerial ladder a year faster but less than 30 per cent of managers and leaders are women. Moreover, mothers of young children have the lowest chance of being a manager while fathers the highest.

Report | Executive Summary


Annie Lennox Wants to Know If You Are a Global Feminist

Annie Lennox, former UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, talks about why she moved away from music and into activism, fighting HIV/AIDS and working to improve the lives of girls and women around the world. Global GoalsCast talks to the musician about her efforts to urge women – and men – to embrace the term global feminism.

The podcast will also be available on various podcast apps on 8 March.

Stories of Impact

Easing fears and promoting gender equality in Chad’s girls-only classrooms

Thirty per cent of Chadian women between the ages of 20-24 are married before they reach 15. In that same group, around 14 per cent of them give birth also before the age of 15. Female genital mutilation affects 44 per cent of all Chadian women.

UN News visits classrooms in the town of Bol, located on the coast of Lake Chad, where girls are learning about gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and the dangers of radicalization by terrorist groups, with support from the UN Population Fund.

Read more

Syria’s Women and Girls Bike to Beat Climate Change

“Cycling gave me wings to fly away from the noises of war,” says Sarah Zein, a young Syrian who founded “Yalla Let’s Bike” (Come on Let’s Bike) – an initiative that aims to defy traditional gender roles, combat overcrowded streets and promote cycling as a healthy and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Read more


What does it mean to innovate? From mobile banking to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka message for International Women’s Day

Spotlight Initiative – to eliminate violence against women and girls

Learn more about SDG 5 Gender Equality

Video message from Lise Kingo, CEO & Executive Director of UN Global Compact, calling on business to adopt the women’s empowerment principles.

Thomas and Friends have partnered with the United Nations to teach children about the SDGs!

NOTE: If you are interested in using the multimedia resources, please contact for the broadcast-quality version.

Background Information

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Upcoming events

11 – 22 March | 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Focusing on the need for better social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) remains a critical global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

For a full list of events organized by governments, UN agencies and civil society, please visit:

SDG Planning Calendar 2019

Sustainability At Work

Increasing the number of women decision-makers is fundamental. For the UN system, achieving gender parity is an urgent priority that is essential to the organization’s efficiency, impact and credibility. Last year, the Secretary-General’s Senior Management Group reached parity and parity was also attained among top UN officials who lead UN country teams in more than 120 countries.

UN Volunteers tells us more about the organization’s commitment to increase participation of women volunteers in the field, particularly leading in areas such as engineering, project management, medical and legal work where women are traditionally underrepresented.    

Learn more about the Women’s Empowerment Principles, driven by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, to empower women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and throughout all sectors of society. To attend the 2019 Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum on 14 March, please visit:

Taking action in your community and/or workplace can be simple. Check out UN Women’s HeForShe Action Kit – an initiative that invites everyone to promote and support equality in the workplace.

Goal of the Month – April Edition

In April, the SDG editorial content will focus on Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth – ahead of the UN Youth Forum (8 to 9 April), the largest annual gathering of youth advocates at the United Nations headquarters in New York focused on advancing the role of young people in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.