Sustainable Development Goals

Women's rights activists in Zimbabwe hold up SDG 5

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2000, eight Millennium Development Goals were agreed. They included commitments to halve extreme poverty rates, promote gender equality, provide universal primary education by 2015. Their successor, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states and others working to support international development will use to frame their priorities over the next 15 years.

In the run up to 2015, Womankind and our partners led a campaign calling for a standalone gender goal, gender mainstreaming throughout the framework and targets on violence against women and girls and women’s participation and leadership to be included in the new development framework. We were successful on all three counts, but the challenge now is to make sure these commitments lead to tangible change in women’s lives .

Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 5 targets:

  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
  • Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

What next?

Womankind focusses on three main areas in our work around the SDGs:

  • Working to ensure strong global and national indicators are agreed.
  • Supporting women’s rights organisations to push for national-level implementation.
  • Ensuring strong global accountability mechanisms – crucial to make sure Governments deliver on the promises they’ve made.

The aspiration behind the new goals will mean little if substantial financial resources are not made available to implement the new agenda. It is vital that sufficient funding is secured and invested in women’s rights organisations as essential long-term partners in delivering these targets.

This is why Womankind is leading a call for an SDG 5 Fund – a financing tool focused on supporting women’s rights organisations to lead the transformational change required to implement the SDGs’ commitment to women’s rights and gender equality. Read our blog to find out more.

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