The United Nations states:

“[It is for both women & men] removing the obstacles to active participation in all spheres of public and private life through a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making.

…Women's equality to men must be a central component of any attempt to solve the world's social, economic and political problems. Thus, where once women fought to put gender equality on the international agenda, gender equality is now one of the primary factors shaping that agenda.

Despite the advances women have made in many societies, progress made towards achieving gender equality has been slow and erratic:

• Women's concerns are still given second priority almost everywhere
• Women continue to face discrimination and marginalization, both subtle and blatant.
• Women do not share equally in the fruits of development.
• Women constitute 70 per cent of the world's poor"

See also the section on Human Rights in our article, Gender: Other issues