Gender Equality is a global issue that has moved from margin to the center of global agenda in more than half a century. While gender inequality is a global issue, it has exaggerated by the rise of religious extremism, widen gap between rich and poor in every country and also between global north and global South due to globalization. When civil and human rights of women and men are not respected, when family laws are discriminatory to women, when women do not have equal access to resources, equal rights to participate in public places or equal opportunities to take part in decision-making, there are direct economic and social costs to the lives of millions of women.

While the social, economic and political inequalities largely affect women it also has consequences for their children, communities and countries. While significant progress has been made in increasing the overall number of girls attending primary school and the gap is being closed, the rate of graduation for girls from high school is lagging behind. In many countries including Iran, although majority of the students attending higher education are women, women still face many challenges for equal participation in workforce and paid employment in formal economy. Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours and earn only 10% of the world’s income. On a global level, only 20% of parliamentarians and 16% of ministers are female, although these figures are slowly rising.

Gender-based violence (GBV) in all its manifestations is one of the most socially tolerated abuses of human rights worldwide. It is the act or threat of harm inflicted on a person because of their gender. GBV is a major barrier for women and girls reaching their potential.

Seeing the world through gender equality lenses, give us a whole new perspective on issues such as peace and security, health, political representations, democracy, health and other issues shaping our lives. Gender equality is still the key to development, peace and democracy. Indeed gender equality means progress for all.