A new report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says that the world is “on the cusp of a milestone in gender equality.”
The report, which was released Tuesday, also called for more action to protect women’s rights in the future.
“Women’s rights are under threat in countries across the globe, and these trends are likely to increase,” it says.
The report is a joint effort between the UNICEF and UNEP, which is the UN agency tasked with ensuring that all people have access to health care.UNICEF has been leading a campaign called the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
“The world has not seen this kind of global momentum for gender equality since the end of the Second World War,” said UNEP’s Christine Lefevre.
“We have reached a tipping point where the tide is shifting.
It is time to turn the tide.”
Canada has made strides in improving women’s access to education and health care, but it has not taken the lead on the global fight against gender inequality.
The United States, Canada and several European countries have also been slow to take action, UNICEFs report says.
“Our work to improve access to healthcare and health services and to protect our environment is essential, and we need to accelerate these efforts,” said Jean-Pierre Ménard, executive director of UNEP.
In recent years, many countries have been tackling gender inequality by introducing gender-neutral toilets, creating gender-equitable workforces and enacting policies that guarantee women access to employment and education.
More broadly, the UN has also made progress in the fight against violence against women, but some nations have also not been following through on their commitments.
The UN report said some countries have already passed legislation to criminalize violence against men, and other governments have not been able to enact laws that protect women and girls from violence and sexual exploitation.
“There is a huge amount of work to be done in the area of violence against all women and all women’s human rights, including gender-based violence,” said Ménards.
The U.S. has seen an increase in violence against girls, and in 2015 alone, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime found that nearly 1,400 girls have been raped in the United State, according to The Associated Press.
“If you are a victim of sexual violence and you can’t report it, you’re not going to get justice,” Ménardo said.
The organization recommends that all countries increase funding for education and social protection, including through more effective protection of women and children.
In addition to improving education and other services for girls, the report recommends that governments work to end gender-motivated violence against children.
It also calls on governments to “end impunity for perpetrators of gender-related violence and to create the conditions for justice for perpetrators.”
For the past 20 years, there has been a massive increase in the number of female-on-male sexual violence in the developing world, according the UN report.
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that between one-fifth and one-third of all sexual violence reported in the world took place in the Asia-Pacific region.