SDG5: The 17 Sustainable Days of the Election

Updated: May 27, 2019

Through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), over the 17 days leading up to the Australia’s national election we will be highlighting the challenge for an inclusive and sustainable Australia, what can be done to address the challenge and what BCSD Australia, as part of a global WBCSD network is doing to create impact.


On Day 5, we are looking at SDG5: Gender equality

Australia has made strides in this area over the years. For example the 2018 SDG Index found the Australian female to male mean years of schooling is above the OECD average, however, gender inequality is still manifest.


There is still an unacceptable gender wage gap, the number of seats held by women in national and state parliaments is below 30% and Australian women are dying every week in domestic violence attacks shocking our nation and shattering communities and families.


What could be done to address this challenge?

  • Removing disincentives for women, particularly those with children, to take up more paid work which will benefit economic growth and promote gender equality.

  • Ideas such as the Grattan Institute’s recommendation to reinstate a women’s budget statement to identify and hopefully avoid unintended consequences of the tax system.

  • Address life expectancy issues for Indigenous women where it is currently 9.5 years lower than for non-Indigenous women.

  • Governments should adopt procurement frameworks requiring companies to integrate gender equality considerations into the standards they use to set supply chain ethical requirements. Such guidance could include a set of tools that aim at promoting practices and systems in supply chains that empower women.

What is BCSD Australia doing to create impact to address this challenge?

As the UN states, gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. We are working with a number of partner organisations on projects that will help to address this challenge here in Australia and around the world, including:



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© 2018 by the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia

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