What Will Shape Women’s Rights over the Next 15 Years? Are these the correct targets?

imagesEach day, some celebrate and some struggle. What will it be like in 2030?

By Carla Kweifio-Okai – 14 January 2015

Decisions made in 2015 will help shape the women’s rights agenda for the next 15 years. In September, world leaders will endorse a new set of development goals at the UN. The proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), feature a standalone goal on gender, which encourages the world to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

Goal number five of the Sustainable Development Goals currently features 9 targets, which are:

  • End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations
  • Recognise and value unpaid care and domestic work, 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
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights
  • 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
  • Enhance the use of enabling technologies, in particular ICT, to promote women’s empowerment
  • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality

A target in goal number three – promoting healthy lives and wellbeing – calls for universal access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Discussions about the content of the goals, which will apply to all countries, began in 2013, and a final draft was published in July. The UN starts negotiations next week on finalising the SDGs.

Do you think these targets are sufficient? Has anything been missed out or lost in the discussions? What do you think should be a priority in your country? Are LGBT rights being ignored? Will a requirement to ban FGM make the final document? How will countries that have a poor record on women’s rights view the SDGs?

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