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WECF board member speaks at UN Library Geneva Book Launch

WECF Governing Board member Gabriele Köhler speaks at UN Library Geneva Book Launch of the open access Oxfam journal “Gender and Development” devoted to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

04.04.2016 |

Listen to the UN Radio's interview with Gabriele here.

Under the topic “Gender and SDGs – are the SDGs good news for women?” she reflected among other experts on the SDG’s potential, strengths and weaknesses from a gender perspective, and the challenges of their implementation. Gabriele Köhler is Senior Research Asscociate of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

The Oxfam publication “Gender and Development” is the only journal focusing specifically on international gender and development issues.

WECF as one of the active coordinators of the Women’s Major Group has actively participated in negotiations on the SDGs for the last several years, pushing for gender equality to be a priority and is part of a coalition of international women’s groups having a 5–year partnership for the implementation of the SDGs with the European Commission’s International Cooperation arm (DEVCO).

 “Are SDGs good for women?”

Gabriele responded to the UN Radio’s Daniel Johnson’s question by arguing that SDGs are particularly good for women in two ways. Firstly, the SDGs have a standalone goal on women, focusing on women and girl’s rights and empowerment. Secondly, a broader scope than gender equality has been set by also including a focus on equality between countries. Meaning we must look at the finance and power politics behind the global inequities to create transformative change. 

She also argued that there is no lack of critical mass, as the civil society has never been as strong as it is now. However, she emphasised that there is a risk (as core funding has disappeared for NGOs and civil society activities) that it will become very difficult for the civil society to keep track of the adherence to the global goals.

The SDGs are ambitious, but they lack specification as to what needs to be done to achieve the goals. Gabriele argued that we need to go back to the existing human rights instruments to understand the “entire universe” of the progressive policies which are already in place, and build on them.

(The webpage was updated on 18th April, 2016)

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