Women’s Major Group Intervention at the 2nd Meeting of the Open Working Group of the Sustainable Development Goals
New York, April 18th, 2013
Presented by Mette Kirstine Schmidt of Sexogsamfund Denmark
Thank you, I speak on behalf of the women’s major group, with over 400 organisations and thousands of individuals globally.
The Women’s Major Group has developed a discussion Paper on Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda, from which I want to highlight a few key points relevant to these discussions:
1. Gender equality and women’s rights should be an explicit priority addressed throughout the framework and in their own right. We therefore ask for a framework that tackles the root causes of gender inequality. This requires, amongst other things:
- women’s equitable access to and control over resources;
- promoting equitable redistribution of paid and unpaid work;
- preventing the negative impacts on women of extractive industries and large-scale monocultures;
- Supporting women’s leadership in mitigating and adapting to climate change;
- addressing the volatility of food prices and assuring food sovereignty;
- ensuring access to quality education for women and girls throughout the life course
- and eliminating all forms of discrimination, ending gender-based violence, and guaranteeing sexual and reproductive rights
– without these there will be no gender equality or empowerment of women –without which there will be no poverty eradication or sustainable development.
2. With regards to the conceptualization of the SDGs, we appreciate the commitment we have heard to a new paradigm for sustainable development. However, we caution against developing another set of reductive goals, targets and indicators that ignore the transformational changes required to address the failure of the current development model – rooted in unsustainable production and consumption patterns – that exacerbate gender, race and class inequalities.
3. A new framework must proactively address increasing inequalities within and between countries, the commodification of nature, and be based on the Rio Principles, including common but differentiated responsibilities.
4. The SDGs must be discussed within a framework that enables their achievement and includes means of implementation that prioritize public financing over public-private partnerships in order to realise states obligations to allocate the maximum availability of resources to eradicate poverty and achieve human rights and environmental sustainability.
5. It should also include systems of monitoring and accountability that are built into the framework, with clear and time-bound commitments. This requires data disaggregated on the basis of age, sex and other status to identify, make visible and respond to inequalities.
6. Several speakers referenced reform of trade and finance systems, which we support. The international community must commit to real reforms of the monetary, financial and trade regimes that currently perpetuate inequalities and violence and undermine women’s and girls’ rights. Global macroeconomic structures must be coherent with governments’ human rights obligations.
7. Finally, participation of civil society is a crucial input to the process, as several member states have indicated. It is important to ensure the active and meaningful participation of groups that are marginalized and most affected by unsustainable development – such as women, indigenous peoples and youth. We encourage member states to support and strengthen this participation.