What is it about?

We identified research that takes into account sex or gender in the research on the 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We then built word maps which show which topics in each of the SDGs does and does not consider sex or gender. Most of the research (21%) did not consider sex or gender and there was no sign that that was changing over time.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

There have been calls for sex and gender to be included in SDG research, from experts on sex and gender research and from the UN itself. Yet our paper shows that there are great swathes of research that don't consider sex or gender. The risk is that if research conducted on the SDGs doesn't consider differences in the outcomes by sex or gender then the resulting advancements may not benefit everyone. We provide analysis which experts can use to carefully consider whether there is SDG research which needs a more inclusive approach.


There's a growing understanding that more research needs to consider sex or gender than currently does. While our paper doesn't make a value judgement on whether any specific SDG research should consider sex or gender, we hope that experts on the topics will be able to make that decision and can then work to inform the research community so that the SDGs benefit everyone.

Rachel Herbert

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sustainability through a gender lens: The extent to which research on UN Sustainable Development Goals includes sex and gender consideration, PLoS ONE, October 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0275657.
You can read the full text:

Open access logo


The following have contributed to this page