Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


This overview addresses sport’s role and potential in relation to the fifth Sustainable Development Goal. It outlines the contribution of sport to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The overview aims at informing, inspiring, encouraging and supporting sport’s contributions to the SDGs by football clubs, foundations, community trusts, football associations and leagues.  

  • Sport can be a powerful platform for advocacy and awareness raising for gender equality. It can contribute to abolish all forms of discrimination against women and girls; human rights based rules of a sport can help to replace culturally discriminative norms that exclude women and girls from sport.
  • While women and girls’ rights to participate in sport as athletes or spectators are not respected in many countries, sport can help to foster gender equality in countries and regions where women are discriminated.
  • Addressing current gender inequalities across participation, performance and leadership in sport can make a valuable contribution to this Goal. Sport can be used to address constricting gender norms and to promote equal participation of girls and women in sport.
  • Sport and sport-based community programmes in particular can, if designed inclusively, cause positive shifts in gender norms and promote gender equality.
  • Sport can foster increased self-esteem and confidence of women and girls, empower them and develop skills needed to become equal participants and leaders in their communities. Through sport-based programmes, women and girls can be equipped with knowledge and skills on health, on how to live a healthy and active lifestyle, on how to act in case they experience violence, on employability, and with leadership skills needed to progress in society.
  • Sport can provide safe and fair environments for women and girls. A safe playing area for girls is especially essential, for instance in refugee camps.
  • Sport can raise awareness and address abuse and gender-based violence within sport.
  • Men and boys can be engaged in achieving gender equality in and through sport. Sport can promote better gender relations and cooperation.

SDG Wheel

Click on one of the icons below to learn more about each goal and how sport can contribute to achieving that goal.

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