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Behind the numbers: good practices in promoting gender equality through legal frameworks
Photo: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015, embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind. Goal 5 focuses on gender equality, and one of its key indicators, SDG 5.1.1, measures the efforts taken by member states to enshrine women’s rights and promote gender equality through the law. Read the update on progress towards Target 5.1.

Specifically, SDG indicator 5.1.1 measures:

Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex.

UN Women, World Bank Group and OECD Development Centre are co-custodians for this indicator.

The indicator is measured by an assessment carried out by national counterparts, including National Statistical Offices and/or National Women’s Machineries, and legal practitioners/researchers on gender equality, using a questionnaire comprising 42 yes/no questions under four areas of law:

  1. Overarching legal frameworks and public life;
  2. Violence against women;
  3. Employment and economic benefits; and
  4. Marriage and family.

See the metadata for the indicator. 

Data are now available for 120 countries. In addition, good practices have been compiled to better understand the changes in legal frameworks, including the actors responsible. 

Below is a dashboard of a selection of good practices compiled, clustered under the four areas of the law, from a cross-selection of countries showing how they have enacted changes in legal frameworks corresponding to individual questions in the questionnaire.


Overarching legal frameworks and public life

Violence against women

Employment and economic benefits

Marriage and family

Constitutional provisions on equality


Some good practices



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Explore the Data

Learn more about our data resources, why data is missing, and explore our multiple data dashboards to learn more about gender statistics.