Time to Uphold Women’s and Girls Human Rights in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Ever since the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 - known as the Earth Summit, it has been recognized that achieving sustainable development would require the active participation of all sectors of society and all types of people. Toward that end, nine "Major Groups" or sectors of society were defined as the main channels through which broad participation would be facilitated in UN activities related to sustainable development activities. The 9 “major groups” are:
Children and Youth
Workers and Trade Unions
Business and Industry
Scientific and Technological Community
In addition, during the post 2015 development planning, governments invited other stakeholders, including local communities, volunteer groups and foundations, migrants and families, as well as older persons and persons with disabilities, to participate in the post-2015 development planning.
On Friday, 24 July, World Goodwill was represented at a side-event of the post-2015 development planning on the Human Rights of Women and Girls. The focus was on the Global South regional perspectives from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
There were three main points that were emphasized from all regions.
1) In many cases, the laws have been written and put in place in addressing issues of violence against women and girls, but the laws are not enforced.
2) Although goal #5 is “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” it was the general consensus that violence against women and girls had much to do with other goals as well. Specifically, the goals to end poverty, improve health, and ensure education were viewed as an integral part of gender equality.
3) There was unanimous agreement that the means of implementation be included in the outcome document for the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda in September.
The meeting ended with recognition of how important it is for civil society to learn from each other and to develop and to support communications networks that allow for the cross cutting between working groups and between goals. The call went out, at the end, for all those involved in decision making to be open minded and mindful.