From January 2016, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the next set of United Nations (UN) led 15 year developmental goals and targets to combat poverty and other forms of deprivation.
It remains a fact that a disproportionate amount of the worlds poorest and most excluded are women and girls. Although the MDGs delivered significant progress, some of which benefited women and girls, overall progress towards gender equality wavered.
MDG 3 to promote gender equality and empower women helped to boost political will and has encouraged actors in development to invest in the promotion of the equality of women, wider progress towards gender equality has been slow with gender based inequality remaining persistent particularly in health, education and politics.
With the SDG gender agenda, key developments have been made that if implemented effectively will assist in the achievement of global gender goals and targets. These key developements include the increased scope of the stand alone gender goal (Goal 5), the pledge to leave no one behind and the framing of gender equality as a prerequisite for achieving success across the entire framework (SDGs- paragraph 3).
These key improvements to the gender goals signify progress and genuine intent to dismantle resilient structures of gender inequality. This new ambitious agenda can only lead to change if there is effective implementation, clarity on actions and policies required to achieve the goals and availability of resources.
Featured image | SDGs-gender equality | Wikimedia Commons
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