Progress of the World’s Women

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Families in a Changing World

Families around the world look, feel, and live differently today. Families can be “make or break” for women and girls when it comes to achieving their rights. They can be places of love, care, and fulfillment but, too often, they are also spaces where women’s and girls’ rights are violated, their voices are stifled, and where gender inequality prevails. In today’s changing world, laws and policies need to be based on the reality of how families live.

UN Women’s flagship report, “Progress of the world’s women 2019–2020: Families in a changing world”, assesses the reality of families today in the context of sweeping economic, demographic, political, and social transformation. The report features global, regional, and national data. It also analyses key issues such as family laws, employment, unpaid care work, violence against women, and families and migration.

At a critical juncture for women’s rights, this landmark report proposes a comprehensive family-friendly policy agenda to advance gender equality in diverse families. A package of policies to deliver this agenda is affordable for most countries, according to a costing analysis included in the report. When families are places of equality and justice, economies and societies thrive and unlock the full potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report shows that achieving the SDGs depends on promoting gender equality within families.

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This edition of “Progress of the world’s women” relies on a broad array of the latest available data and statistics, as of March 2019, gathered from national sources, and compiled and harmonized by international agencies. See the annexes and view a selection of the data in the dashboards.

Annex 3

Household Composition & Living Arrangements

Annex 4

Labour Force Participation Rates by Sex & Marital Status

Annex 5

Laws & Legal Frameworks

Annex 7

Migration Trends


New UN Women report puts forth policy agenda to end gender inequalities within families.