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Russia: towards SDGs 4 and 5

Unlike last month's article, which featured a developing country, Indonesia, and its commitment to following and completing the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Objectives 4 and 5, today we will analyze the commitment to these particular Objectives of one of the nations that has most influenced world history, one of the largest economic powers in the world, a nation to which belongs a vast and heterogeneous territory: Russia.

As one of the most powerful economic, political and ideological powers in the world, there is no doubt that the former Soviet Union can do everything. It is important that nations of such caliber as Russia or the United States be at the forefront of supporting the SDGs, not only to set a good example to smaller countries, but also to give impetus to a real process.

Unfortunately, at the end of a large study carried out in 2018 by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, it is highlighted that among all the G20 countries, Russia and the United States are the tail-end in terms of the efforts and commitment of their governments to integrate the SDGs into national institutions and policies. In 2018, Brazil, Mexico and Italy were the countries that most supported SDGs strategies institutionally.

Objective 4 - Quality Education

The Russian education system is in "The Strongest Higher Education Systems by Country" top 50, placing 26th in the ranking. Although recent reforms have revolutionized this system, education in Russia remains mainly politicised, due to the institutions that are particularly present in school life. According to the current evaluation of Report 2019, which reports on the progress of each state, Russia is on the right track to successfully achieve this goal by 2030: the lower secondary completion rate and the literacy rate of young people between 15 and 24 years of age is in both cases almost 100%. There are still improvements to be made in the primary school enrolment rate.

Objective 5 - Gender Equality

Article 122 of the USSR Constitution guarantees women and men equal rights in all circumstances of daily life, from the economic to the social and political spheres. In the Soviet era there were many feminist reforms, up to the establishment of legal equity for men and women in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. Even in the current Constitution it is guaranteed that man and woman have the same rights. But, de facto?

The great Russian nation still has a long way to go in this area: traditional gender roles are still present, and efforts to address problems such as the gender pay gap, domestic violence and sexual harassment have hardly ever scratched the surface. Not to mention gender in the broadest sense, therefore not only regarding the distinction between men and women, but all that concerns gender in all its diversity and the recognition of one's sexuality: it is no mystery that the LGBTQ+ community in Russia has no room to assert itself and that it is seen by many as a shame.

According to the 2019 Report, Russia still faces significant challenges to achieve the Goal and the policies currently in place are not sufficient to achieve it by 2030.



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From the World Central Asia Sections Human Rights 2030 Agenda Quality education Gender equality


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Russia SDGs SDG 4 SDG 5 gender equality quality education

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