Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls



“UNDP has made gender equality central to its work and we’ve seen remarkable progress in the past 20 years. There are more girls in school now compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education”.

“But although there are more women than ever in the labour market, there are still large inequalities in some regions, with women systematically denied the same work rights as men. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public office all remain huge barriers. Climate change and disasters continue to have a disproportionate effect on women and children, as do conflict and migration”.

(Sustainable development goals: United Nations Development Programme: Goal 5 Gender Equality)


Female Reproductive Rights: Female animals used in the livestock industry are exploited for their young and do not have control over their own reproductive processes (1). The women’s rights movement was born out of similar oppression, where women still suffer patriarchal limits imposed upon them. This presents a “linked oppression thesis,” that gender and animal attitudes are connected (2-3).

Hierarchy: Patriarchal values have suppressed the advancement of women’s rights, while animal “husbandry” mimics patriarchy with historical views of a pyramid of life placing man on top (4). This idea goes further within female roles in agriculture, where in some countries women are the sole farmers, yet are denied the same rights as men and cannot own the land that they farm (5).

Valuing all life: Valuing the life of all beings contributes to a more robust moral framework that refrains from discrimination and exploitation of all beings regardless of species, sex, race, religion, or identity (6-7).

Correlation between Animal & Human Violence: Studies have shown that violence inflicted on animals is highly predictive of violence inflicted towards humans (8). In exploitative animal industries such as slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities, high levels of sexual harassment have been reported (9), as well as elevated levels of domestic violence within the surrounding communities (10).

Women held captive to domestic oppression via violence towards pets: “A 2017 study showed that 89% of women who had companion animals during an abusive relationship reported that their animals were threatened, harmed, or killed by their abusive partner.” (11).

Download the document below to read the full list of the latest citations of evidence as to how animal exploitation undermines the progress of SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality


Further Reading:

Goal 5 : Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (United Nations website)

“Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence” – National Sheriff’s Association –

“Cruel Intimacies and Risky Relationships: Accounting for Suffering in Industrial Livestock Production” – Why Interspecies Intimacy Matters, What makes it possible to overlook or dismiss human cruelty to the livestock that many of us rely on for food? Some scholars have linked consumers’ alienation from the food production process with the prevalence and severity of livestock welfare abuses and with other social and environmental problems. By Natilie Purcell
Society & Animals 19 (2011) 59-81 –

“Hunting Girls: Patriarchal Fantasy or Femine Progress” – Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900-present), Spring 2013, Volume 12, Issue 1 –

“A Feminist Analysis of Human and Animal Oppression: Intersectionality Among Species” – Kelsey Brown, Western Washington University –

“Slaughterhouses_and_Increased_Crime_Rates” – Amy J. Fitzgerald, University of Windsor, Linda Kalof Thomas Dietz, Michigan State University –