UN Women Presents Actionable Recommendations to Achieve SDGs
UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
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UN Women released its flagship report, which examines progress and challenges in implementing the SDGs from a gender perspective.

Recommendations focus on prioritizing gender-responsive investments, and policies and programmes to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.

14 February 2018: UN Women has released its flagship report, which examines progress and challenges in implementing the SDGs from a gender perspective. The report recommends integrated approaches to leverage policy synergies and calls for urgent action on unpaid care work as well as ending violence against women.

UN Women’s flagship report titled, ‘Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ assesses global and regional trends in SDG achievement from a gender perspective. The publication goes beyond national averages to illustrate how women and girls in the same country live “worlds apart” because of their income status, ethnicity/race, and locality.

In Nigeria, for instance, a rural, low-income woman of Hausa ethnicity is eight times as likely to be married before 18 than an urban, high-income woman of Yoruba ethnicity. In another example, a girl born into a poor household (SDG target 1.2) and forced into early marriage (SDG target 5.3), is more likely to leave school (SDG target 4.1), give birth at an early age (SDG target 3.7), suffer childbirth complications (SDG target 3.1) and experience violence (SDG target 5.2) than a girl from a high-income household who marries later. The report argues that policymakers can break the cycle of girls growing up trapped in poverty by providing integrated responses that include access to medical care (SDG target 3.8), a decent job (SDG target 8.5), a safe place to live (SDG target 11.1) and access to justice (SDG target 16.3).

For every 100 men in the same age group, 122 women aged 25 to 34 live in extreme poverty.

The report also illustrates linkages between the SDGs. For example, it finds that over 50% of urban women and girls in developing countries live in conditions where they lack access to at least one of the following: clean water; improved sanitation facilities; durable housing; or sufficient living area. On SDG 1 (no poverty), the report finds that there are four more women living on less than US$1.90 a day for every 100 men. For every 100 men in the same age group, 122 women aged 25 to 34 live in extreme poverty. On SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), women’s labor force participation rate is 63% compared to men’s 94%, with women facing a 23% gender pay gap globally. On SDG 15 (life on land), the report states that the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forested areas between 2010 and 2015 and explains that poor, rural women are particularly affected by the depletion of common pool resources like forests.

The report provides case studies and data snapshots for Colombia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, the US and Uruguay. The report also features scenarios for investments in accessible, affordable and quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) that illustrate how such investments can improve children’s health and nutrition outcomes (SDG targets 2.2 and 2.3); enhance school readiness (SDG target 4.2), particularly among the most vulnerable; reduce women’s time on unpaid care (SDG target 5.4); enable women to increase their access to employment (SDG target 8.5); create decent jobs in the social services (SDG target 8.3) and reduce the inequalities of outcome (SDG target 10.3).

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the report, “underlines that, unless progress on gender equality is significantly accelerated, the global community will not be able to keep its promise” to leave no one behind. Mlambo-Ngcuka underscored the need for urgent action and stressed the report “recommends the directions to follow.”

The report’s recommendations focus on four key areas of action:

  • First, it calls for integrated policies to leverage synergies and help achieve multiple SDGs simultaneously, arguing that achieving gender equality is a catalyst for achieving all the SDGs.
  • Second, the report finds that six SDGs have no indicators that explicitly mention women and girls, and that the lack of regular and timely gender data hampers adequate monitoring of women and girls across the SDGs. Consequently, the report calls for “more and better statistics.”
  • Third, the report recommends closing the financing gap by addressing illicit financial flows, reversing public expenditure cuts that erode essential services and safety nets, and using all available strategies for raising domestic revenue.
  • Fourth, the report urges holding those in power accountable on gender equality commitments.

[UN Women Press Release] [Report Webpage] [Publication: Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development]

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