Humanity cannot progress when half of its population remains untapped, making women empowerment an important link to sustainable development. Coalescing the skills of both men and women at an equal level will add immensely to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and help reach some of its objectives like combating international poverty.

The issue of women empowerment and gender equality has gained a lot of importance in recent years, while many steps have been taken to combat gender inequality. However, there is still a lot to be done to bring women up to the same platform as their male counterparts.

A key factor in increasing the role of women in global politics is to set up institutions at the international level and to decrease the gap between policy and funding and monitoring programs. The creation of UN subsidiaries like HeForShe and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is also a major aspect in increasing the participation of women in global politics.

Another issue that is especially important to tackle is eradicating sexist social customs that hinder the participatory role of women in politics. Backward social institutions and practices that restrict women should be no longer valid in this century.

Providing a safe and secure place for women to work productively and contribute to society is a key factor in promoting gender equality. It is important to educate, inform and mobilise audiences — collectively and individually — to build and adopt new patterns of masculinity and femininity and to encourage new behaviours towards roles. Women’s political empowerment should be in tandem with women’s social empowerment so that the nation can benefit in many aspects. International institutions challenging stereotypical patterns of masculinity and femininity should be established to empower women.

- The reader is a student based in Dubai.