Gender equality & women and girls empowerment: considerations for the post 2015 agenda

Gender equality & women and girls empowerment: considerations for the post 2015 agenda

Women's Major Group (WMG) position paper on the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Post-2015 development agenda.

This position paper outlines the WMG's vision and priorities, including themes, goals, targets, and indicators, for the delivery of SDGs and the Post-2015 development agenda, building upon a similar previous paper published in 2014. This update takes into account the work that has taken place in drafting the SDGs, as well as the UNSGs Synthesis Report on the Post-2015 agenda published in December 2014.

The WMG does not support the use of the “6 elements” outlined in the Synthesis Report, arguing that it de-emphasises the critical importance of gender equality and women’s human rights in the framing and implementation of the agenda. Instead, this paper recommends that the Post-2015 Declaration focuses on the SDGs, and prioritise the full realisation of women’s and girl’s human rights, ending inequalities, and achieving environmental sustainability.

A robust indicator framework is required that, at a minimum, disaggregates data by sex, age, location, and income. Furthermore, it is important to learn from the Millennium Development Goals and not limit indicators too narrowly, lest they become a sole focus at the expense of other issues. This paper presents a list of priority aspects for the Post-2015 agenda, which are then elaborated in more detail:

  • Human rights, eliminating inequalities, and poverty eradication
  • Realisation of women and girls human rights and gender equality
  • Economic justice for sustainable development
  • Ensuring healthy climate, biodiversity, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Realising peace, gender equality, and addressing the root causes of conflict
  • Accountability: transparent, inclusive, and participatory review and monitoring mechanisms
  • Financing for human rights and gender equality in the Post-2015 agenda

The paper concludes by providing some ‘next steps’, and summarising the WMG’s position on the post-2015 development framework. In short, the way forward must ensure priority for women’s and girl’s human rights in the process and outcomes, with negotiations based on the Open Working Group’s SDGs outcome document as it stands now, in a manner that is inclusive, transparent, and accountable. Reviews of indicators should not mean the document is open for changes and that commitments can be watered down or even discarded. The WMG is focused on ensuring that the Post-2015 agreement has strong, sustainable, and public financial backing, and they call on Member States to ensure strong civic participation in negotiations.

The WMG welcomes SDG5, and call for the full realisation of all women’s and girl’s human rights and empowerment as a cross-cutting issue in the Post-2015 framework. The global agenda should be measured with global indicators and full participation of all sectors of government and civil society, with implementation supported by strong ethical and transparent means based on environmental, human rights and gender equality safeguards and redress mechanisms. The WMG reiterates that accountability is essential to ensure States adhere to commitments, with the inclusion of civil society groups in the monitoring of implementation. Finally, the WMG emphasises that sustainable development requires all women and girls have access to formal and non-formal education, full reproductive rights, and lives free from discrimination and threat of violence.

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