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WECF and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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WECF and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

With the acceptation of the SDG´s, governments committed to address a range of social, economic and environmental issues that impact women and girls, including economic inequality, agriculture, energy, biodiversity and climate change, and peace and security.

| WECF Campaign


Duration: 01/2016 - 01/2030

 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  were formally adopted by Heads of State in September at the UN General Assembly.  A broad and ambitious plan to chart out global development across social, environmental and economic areas for the next 15 years, and if fully implemented could be transformative for women and girls everywhere.

WECF has been one of the active coordinators of the Women’s Major Group, a large contributor to this UN Sustainable Development process. The WMG is made up of more than 600 women’s organizations and networks from around the world. It recognizes the historic agenda for global sustainable development that 193 governments agreed to on September 25th 2015.

The Women’s Major Group contributes to the intergovernmental processes on Sustainable Development Goals and its link to the Post 2015 Development Agenda, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and other outcomes of the RIO processes and has actively participated in negotiations on the SDGs for the last several years, pushing for gender equality to be a priority and for a greater emphasis on human rights.

"One key success of the SDGs is that many ‘environmental’ Goals recognise that they have a gender dimension," said Sascha Gabizon, Women in Europe for a Common Future. "Indeed, women's access to land, water, sanitation and energy are strongly defined in the targets of the 2030 Agenda," commented Priscilla Achakpa of Women Environmental Programme.

The Women’s Major Group has also called for unequivocal action to transform global political and financial systems that disadvantage developing countries and cause economic, environmental and climate crises that disproportionately affect women. Unlike with the Millennium Development Goals—which expired in 2015—civil society groups have been actively involved in negotiations around developing this new global agenda, which is universal and involves all countries.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs predecessors, were agreed in the year 2000 as a global action agenda to eliminate extreme poverty by 2015. The eight MDGs were mostly not achieved, progress was very uneven, and even though extreme poverty (as measured by an income below 1 dollar a day) was reduced overall, this was mostly due to progress in a few emerging economies, and not in least developed countries.

In most countries, inequalities have increased, even if gross national product (GNP) increased. The lack of a systematic and well-defined accountability architecture has been identified as a key reason for some major shortfalls in achieving the MDGs, including commitments under MDGs 3 (gender equality), 5 (maternal health), 7 (environmental sustainability) and 8 (the global partnership).

Another main lesson learned from the MDGs is that we need to understand the root causes underlying the current unsustainable and inequitable system in order to develop a new economic paradigm that allows for the survival of the planet, as well as a more equitable social order.

Although there are several weaknesses to the plan, acccording to WECF and the WMG, moving forward the next priority will be ensuring that the ambitious agenda is fully funded, countries develop effective plans and measurements of their progress, and governments are held accountable. 


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