SDG 5: Striving for Gender Equality

SDG 5: Striving for Gender Equality
Helena, 14, looks after her family’s cows near her home in Rumbek, South Sudan (photo: Kate Holt / Plan International UK)

Sustainable development goal (SDG) number 5 set by the United Nations is gender equality. At Arete we strive to highlight this issue in a way that is accessible, not only to audiences in the western world but also to communities local to where we have gathered the story.

We document issues surrounding gender inequality all over the world. In rural parts of sub-Saharan Africa, lack of services combined with limited infrastructure, expectations of household duties and limited employment opportunities, means that it is normally women and girls who shoulder the burden of looking after their families. According to the UN, collectively women spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water and globally, 33,000 girls become child brides every day.

When documenting gender inequality, it is important to raise awareness around the culture that is causing it. However, a good photojournalist should also look to draw attention to the strength and resilience of the women affected, to avoid reinforcing a societal view that women are weak and inferior.

Following an appeal from the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC), we were asked by Plan International UK to document gender inequality in South Sudan. The photos and stories Arete photojournalists gathered not only raised awareness around issues such as the hunger many of these girls faced but also exhibited their innate strength and ability. The images were exhibited in The Guardian, at the OXO Tower Gallery in London, the MAC in Birmingham and Assembley rooms in Edinburgh. An article, written by Kate Holt, was also featured in the Metro.

In the run up to the first UN summit on the SDGs on 24th and 25th September, we have been publishing a daily blog on how we help organisations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Check out our blogs here.