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Moving from Rhetoric towards Real Implementation of Gender Equality

WMG_response_to_UNGA_2013_def_kleinThe Women’s Major Group (WMG) responds to the Special Event convened by the President of the UN's General Assembly to review progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and to chart the way forward. In acknowledging the achievements the Women's Major Group is nevertheless greatly concerned that without a transformative shift in the way that gender equality and women’s human rights and justice concerns are articulated, a truly sustainable post-2015 Development agenda will not be achieved.

22 October, 2013 | WMG

For a transformative shift in gender equality in Post-2015 Era

Demands in the response of the Women's Major Group [1] read as follows:

As we have already conveyed to the Secretary General, we ask for a “stand-alone gender equality and women’s human rights goal” in the post 2015 development agenda, as well as having gender equality as a cross‐cutting priority in all dimensions of sustainable development.

Urgent action of our key concerns are needed as follows:

  • Adopting a Human rights framework: While we appreciate the references to the importance of a human rights framework for the new development agenda, we feel that this must go further. The new global development paradigm must be rights--‐based, holistic, inclusive, just and gender--‐just, equitable and universal.
  • Aiming at eradicating poverty through promoting social inclusion and social justice, addressing rising inequalities and women’s human rights, including respecting, protecting and fulfilling sexual and reproductive rights, with special to attention to ensuring access to quality and universal sexual and reproductive health education, information and services.
  • Make the links among various multilateral processes taking place. These processes include: the acceleration of the MDGs, the evolution of the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change negotiations, population and development negotiations (ICPD), financing for development, and ensure attention to means of implementation externally such as through the discussions on trade and finance within the World Trade Organization, G20 and G8.
  • Financing and Means of Implementation: We are concerned at the lack of text in the Outcome document on concrete financing mechanisms and means of implementation, both for acceleration of achieving the MDGs, and also for the Post 2015 Sustainable Development agenda. We therefore call for explicit attention to monitoring and accountability frameworks and recognition of the need to address systemic global development systems, including restructuring the global financial system through transformation of the International Financial Institutions, combating tax dodging and tax evasions, complying with ODA levels of 0.7% of GDP, using a Financial Transaction Tax for development purposes, among others.
  • Meaningful Participation and involvement of civil society: Finally, we call for a meaningful, inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process with full engagement of civil society and social movements, including participation of diverse women’s movements, feminists and gender justice activists, especially those from the economic south, at all stages of negotiations.
  • The Millennium Development Goals have not been reached and goals 3 and 5 are especially off track. A final push is urgently needed and priority should be placed on achieving gender equality, women’s human rights, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

For reaeding the whole response click here.

[1] The Women's Major Group (WMG) coordinates the input and participation of Women and Feminist organisations in the United Nations processes on Sustainable Development Goals and the Post--‐2015 development agenda. The WMG was created as one of nine Major Groups in the outcome agreement of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro. This statement was prepared by members of the WMG in particular Elisabeth van der Steenhoven (WO=MEN, Netherlands), Deniz Keynak of Women for Women’s Human Rights (Turkey) and Noelene Nabulivou of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (Fiji) see


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