Goal #5

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

UNSW is committed to this goal and demonstrates its commitment through:

  • Cross-collaborative globally-leading research targeted at preventing gendered violence and promoting human rights
  • Gender equality in our education and teaching and a suite of women mentoring and women’s pre-university programs
  • Being an equal opportunity employer including our commitment to Athena SWAN and the work of the Division of Equity Diversity & Inclusion
  • Partnerships that champion gender equity and human rights

Essential to creating a better, fairer and more sustainable world.

A 2019 discussion paper from the UN Development Programme marks SDG #5 as an accelerator for achieving many of the other SDGs. Sadly, in many countries, many people think gender equality has progressed as far as it possibly can and that sexual harassment and discrimination are just part of human nature. From these views it’s clear we have not made as much progress as we think. Gender equality still requires action everywhere regardless of wealth, culture or religion so every country can continue to improve the lives of women and girls.

In this video, Professor Eileen Baldry and Professor Leisa Sargent break down some of the key challenges behind SDG #5.

Athena Swan Cygnet Award & Decadal Plan Champion

UNSW is one of 45 institutions participating in the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Athena SWAN program. We have a commitment to advancing all women students in STEMM through SAGE Athena SWAN and other gender equity programs.

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female co-founders of UNSW startups (as at September 2022)

Speaking out with Grace Tame

In March 2022, Grace Tame joined UNSW academics Kyllie Cripps, Michael Salter and Emma A. Jane for this UNSW Centre for Ideas panel discussion on the catalytic power of collective women’s voices, achieving better education on sexual abuse and Grace's aspirations to continue to hold those in power to account.

Next-generation assessment spurs 'smarter learning'

Hear Jennifer Robinson and Keina Yoshida live in-conversation with Jane Caro for a powerful and accessible exploration of our legal systems - as they break open the big judgments, developments and trends that have and continue to silence and disadvantage women.

HSBC Women in Finance Mentoring program

The HSBC Women in Finance mentoring program is an annual mentoring program, supported by a range of sponsors in order to build meaningful relationships between motivated female finance students with successful finance industry professionals.

New Wave

The New Wave program addresses the under-representation of women in entrepreneurship by empowering UNSW students, staff or alumni who identify as women to launch startups.

She Can

She Can is run by women, for women. With resources and webinars featuring some of the most inspiring UNSW athletes it provides a safe space and supportive environment to stay fit and active on campus or from home.

Women in Research Network

UNSW's leading forum for research-active women to connect and collaborate to build an equitable and inclusive research culture at UNSW.

UNSW Women's Collective

An autonomous intersectional-feminist collective focused on activism, education and community organisation.

Women’s Wellbeing Academy

Five projects were awarded funding from the 2022 WWBA Small Grants Program.

Career Advancement Fund

Funding is available for women academics to re-establish and advance their careers following parental or adoption leave. 

Gendered Violence

UNSW seeks to prevent and respond to gendered violence in the UNSW community by implementing the UNSW Stop. Empower. Support. Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2025

The Gendered Violence Research Network

The Gendered Violence Research Network (GVRN) is a joint initiative of UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture and UNSW Law & Justice. Our network unites UNSW’s significant domestic and international research expertise to respond, prevent and end gendered violence in Australia and beyond. GVRN is at the forefront of developing solutions to prevent gendered violence – one of the most prevalent human rights violations affecting our world today.

Tackling economic and financial abuse linked to domestic and family violence

A partnership between UNSW’s Gendered Violence Research Network and Commonwealth Bank is raising awareness around groups at greater risk of economic and financial abuse.

Women in Senior Leadership

This webinar discusses empirically based strategies for increasing the number of women in senior roles across education and STEM focused industries. The panel also highlights various research and industry examples that show how to effectively increase female leadership positions in the workplace.

"The Leadership" Panel Discussion

This webinar discusses The Leadership documentary which highlights the experiences of women who participated in the inaugural Homeward Bound Project and the systemic inequities they face as women in STEMM.

Gender and Data Science

This webinar tells the story of data science and artificial intelligence and the panel discuss how underlying biases can result in unintended consequences when not accounted for.

UNSW Strategy in Action 2025

The UNSW Strategy in Action 2025 commits to ensuring equity in staff recruitment, development, retention and promotion, particularly ensuring no disadvantage on the basis of gender, cultural background, disability or Indigenous origin. This includes a commitment to providing outstanding support and development opportunities for all who work and study at UNSW as well as promoting these values in our external interactions.


of female professional staff at level 10 and above by 2025


of female academic staff at levels D & E by 2025

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UNSW 2025 Strategy Update 

This document celebrates the key achievements of the first phase of the 2025 Strategy, highlighting where we have come from and where we are now. It also updates the framework against which we will assess, track and measure existing and new strategic initiatives over the next five years.

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Sexual Misconduct Annual Report 

UNSW launched a Sexual Misconduct Strategy (2019-2021) to provide a clear framework for the University to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct. In 2022, published its third annual report on the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct at UNSW.

UNSW Institute for Global Development

The UNSW Institute for Global Development is underpinned by a commitment to enhancing social justice and inclusion through empowering individuals and their communities. They are currently leading a project on 'just transitions' and its intersection with gender. This work will explore what justice and gender inclusion look like from a multi-disciplinary lens to bridge the gap of gender inequality.

Gender studies

Gender studies at UNSW is a vibrant, cross-disciplinary area of study that situates women, feminism, gender, sex and sexualities at the centre of academic analysis. Scholars teach and research across a wide span of areas, including world history, human rights, sex and desire, women’s writing, Asian cultures, and queer and gender theory.

Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathways

The Transforming Women’s Leadership Pathways program exists to dramatically shift the dial on women’s equity, and to broaden pathways to leadership for women by 2030.

Panel Pledge

An initiative of the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, Champions of Change Coalition, and Chief Executive Women that aims to increase the visibility and contribution of women leaders in public and professional forums.

Career Coaching for Carers (3C)

The program supports academic women, including sessional staff and post-graduate students, with current or recent carer responsibilities to develop their careers and address the disadvantages many have experienced due to COVID-19. 

UNSW Sustainable Development Goals 2022 Report

This report outlines UNSW's performance against the SDGs in 2022.

More SDGs

Goal #6

Clean water and sanitation
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal #7

Affordable and clean energy
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 

Goal #8

Decent work and economic growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.