/SDG 5: Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower self-determination of all women and girls

Icon SDG5


Brigitte Ratzer
Vienna University of Technology
Tel: +43 664 60588 3400


Maciej Tadeusz Palucki
Vienna University of Technology
Tel: +43 664 605883407

The Agenda 2030

Gender inequality prevails globally. The goal of SDG 5 (Gender Equality) is therefore to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The nine targets address, among other things, the elimination of violence against women and girls in all its forms, equal division of labour and participation.

Attributions to gender still exist. The gender order, i.e. the evaluation of characteristics and activities seen as male or female as better or worse, more valuable or less valuable, proves to be stubborn. If we want to eliminate discrimination, these mechanisms must be understood and sustainably changed in all areas of life. This also requires awareness-raising bundles of measures.

Sustainable systemic change can succeed if men are also involved. Different masculinities exist, with some showing problematic and even toxic characteristics. These can be destructive at the individual, family, societal and environmental levels. If we want to achieve gender equality, the prevailing ideas of masculinity have to be changed, both socially and ecologically. New, healthy and non-violent images of men are needed.

It is crucial to consider gender in interaction with other social categories such as disability, class, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation/gender identity and religion. This intersectional perspective allows for the inclusion of inequality relations that cannot be explained by gender alone.

SDG 5 Targets:

5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation

5.4 Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

5.a Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

5.b Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women

5.c Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

Situation in Austria

Austria has not yet achieved SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Women are still confronted with structural violence. The gender pay gap between women and men is very large at 36.7 % (gross annual income) and 20.4 % (gross hourly wage) – far above the EU average. The gender pay gap is directly the basis for unequal pensions: Those who earn less get less pension afterwards. The gender pension gap in Austria is over 40 %. Another problem area is the unequal distribution of unpaid care and housework. Men spend significantly less time than women in caring for children, elderly or sick persons or in performing domestic tasks. Men's participation in childcare benefits is only 4.5 %.

Men's violence against women is a major, structural problem. There are statistics, but the data are poor. There is a lack of disaggregated data on gender-based violence and data for the prevention of femicide. In Austria, an average of three women are murdered per month.

For the Austrian context, it is also essential that a non-binary, third person status exists alongside men and women. Further anti-discrimination measures must follow.

From the perspective of SDG 5, the levers for gender equality lie in a re-evaluation of work and thus fair remuneration, an equal distribution of unpaid domestic and care work and the dismantling of gender stereotypes.

Option list

(based on the options report to be published)

The options elaborated by the SDG groups are to serve as a means of communicating to the federal government which concrete options can be set by Austria in order to implement the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The options report will be published on 02.12.2021.

  • Option 5.1: Remuneration policy
  • Option 5.2: The equal redistribution of child-related care and provision tasks
  • Option 5.3: Gender- and diversity-sensitive media design as a criterion for media promotion
  • Option 5.4: Area-wide anchoring of gender-sensitive elementary education

UniNEtZ Network


  • Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien): Brigitte Ratzer


  • Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien): Maciej Palucki


  • Danube University Krems (DUK): Michaela Gindl
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Edeltraud Ranftl
  • Kunstuniversität Graz: Anna Benedikt
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna: Doris Löffler
  • University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW): Andrea Ellmeier, Birgit Huebener
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU): Doris Damyanovic, Tatjana Fischer, Aurelie Karlinger
  • University Mozarteum Salzburg (MOZ): Iris Mangeng, Michaela Schwarzbauer
  • Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU Wien): Johanna Hofbauer