Final Thoughts

Despite not passing any indicators for SDGs 1 or 10, this evening’s vote is considered a huge success by us here at the Gender and Development Network insofar as the achievements that were made regarding Goal 5. In the Open Working Group as an entirety, we made great strides passing all three indicators for this goal:

  • Proposed Indicator 5.1: Implementation of sustainable programs to ensure (1) rights to family care (infant and elderly), and (2) protection of women from all forms of violence.
  • Indicator 5.2: Access to sustainable resources with a primary focus on health, education, and infrastructure (specifically access to water and electricity) and equal rights to land ownership disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, and geographical location. (Passed Unanimously!)
  • Proposed Indicator 5.3: Recognition of proportion of time spent (24 hours) on unpaid and paid work (in the formal and informal sector) by gender, age, ethnicity, and location. (Passed Unanimously!)

Each of these indicators passing is a success in working towards achieved Goal 5 for 2030, which is to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls.

In moving forward, we want to emphasize two points in particular. The first of these is to place on lessening the amount of time and effort required for unpaid work by ensuring that every household has access to necessary and helpful infrastructure, specifically in terms of access to electricity and that it is located within 15 minutes walking distance from a water source. The second point we would like to emphasize is the need to continue to emphasize gender and gender equality in each goal within the SDGS to move towards a future where inequalities between genders do not exist.

A huge thank you and congratulations to all of the delegations in our Open Working Group for allowing and supporting this step forward by addressing so many aspects of gender inequality and inequity everywhere. A special thank you as well to Canada for submitting the final indicators that we all voted on. We look forward working to achieve these targets by 2030!

 

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Moving Forward

Since the first plenary session, the Gender and Development Network has agreed to join a coalition with Kenya, China, Canada, France, Germany, UNDP, Farmer’s Major Group, Indigenous People’s Major Group, and Oxfam in regards to the proposed indicator for Goal 1: Poverty Reduction. The current indicator that we support, as it stands, is:

“Proportion of population below $1.90 (PPP) per day disaggregated by gender, age group, ethnicity, employment status and geographical location.”

This indicator included the proposed additions and changes of adding ethnicity to the disaggregated criteria of the indicator, and changing sex to gender for reasons of more diverse and universal inclusivity. Since the formation of this coalition, Kenya has reduced its benchmark criteria from $1.90 to $1.34, however the GDN will continue to support the original amount in the coalition’s proposed indicator.

Furthermore, discussions have continued with Oxfam, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and a notable group of other delegations and NGO’s on the subjects of the remaining goals and indicators. We have entered into a coalition with Canada, Oxfam, France, Farmer’s Major Group, the Netherlands and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in regards to our indicator for Goal 5: Reducing Gender Inequality. As an organization specializing in this goal, we have negotiated the following indicator:

“Implementation of programs that ensure rights to family care (infant and elderly), access to resources (including electricity, and within a 15 minute walking distance from a water supply), and equal rights to land ownership disaggregated by gender, ethnicity, and geographical location; and recognition of proportion of time spent (24 hours) on unpaid and paid work by gender, age, ethnicity, and location.”

On a similar note, the Gender and Development Network is planning an act of organized dissent in the next plenary session of the Open Working Group as a protest of the gender pay gap, in which women are only paid for 77% of the work they do whereas men are paid for the full 100%. We have received the support of Kenya, Oxfam, Canada, the Indigenous People’s Major Group and the African Development Bank in this action, and hope the other honourable delegations and organizations will stand behind us to bring awareness to this global issue.

Plenary session #2 to begin soon. Updates to come.

Count Down to the UN Sustainable Development Summit

As we quickly approach the upcoming UN Summit established to discuss and strategize the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we offer here an outline of our position walking into the discussions.

The Gender and Development Network (GDN), as a member of the Open Working Group, are approaching the four SDGs in question with one overarching priority: Women and girls. As we dawn on this new opportunity to tackle the heavy development challenges of our era, we believe that the compartmentalization that has previously been utilized in gender issues must evolve to a more holistic method of bringing about gender equality and female empowerment.

That is why the GDN has incorporated addressing gender issues into all of our proposed indicators for every SDG. Walking into these meetings, we are committed to placing gender on the forefront of each discussion and emphasizing the profound role women have in achieving our goals.

With some degree of gender inequality present in every region of today’s world, female empowerment is arguably the UN’s most devastating failure. We believe that this is because world leaders, and the global community as a whole, cannot separate gender from other global development issues like those outlined in the SDGs. It is not just gender inequality that demands female-focused solutions, but goals like poverty, global inequity and effective global partnerships will all be negatively effected by the underutilization and mistreatment of the female-identifying half of humanity.

We look forward to bringing to light the importance of women and girls in each and every goal, and hope you follow us as we provide updates on the exciting and historic discussions to come.