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Girls & Women

Global citizens fight to keep women at the heart of the Post-2015 agenda

Global Poverty Project, supported by Caterpillar Foundation, campaigned with UNFPA and Women Deliver for women's equality

WHAT'S THE ISSUE? 

Today, there are still 31 million girls who are denied an education, almost 300,000 girls and women who die from complications due to pregnancy or childbirth per year and 222 million women in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy but lack access to family planning services, information, and contraception. When girls and women are educated and healthy, with access to sexual and reproductive health services including family planning, poverty will decline.

Investing in girls and women is critical to achieving gender equality and ending poverty. Currently, girls and women are being left behind, and we only have one year left until the new development priorities are set, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

HOW DID GLOBAL CITIZENS RESPOND? 

In September 2013, at the Global Citizen Festival UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, H.R.H. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and representatives from civil society took the stage to highlight the importance of empowering women and girls before a crowd of more than 60,000 people.

Since then, 18,000 people have signed our petition. The petition calls on the UN Secretary General and the Post-2015 Framework Working Group, for a bold and ambitious core priority focusing on equality for girls and women. GPP is specifically asking that clear measures are included in the new framework to:

  • Keep girls in school and reduce dropout rates
  • Ensure all girls and women have access to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health information and services
  • Specific targets tracking gender equality achieved across all the goals set out in the new post 2015 development framework.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT? 

A standalone goal on “gender equality and empowerment of women” is currently one of the 19 focus areas suggested by the UN Open Working Group that is drawing up the new development goals.

Calls for a standalone goal on gender equality have increased over the past 18 months, with government Ministers from Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe, and the UK throwing their weight behind the campaign. In March, 2014 the UK Parliament made a groundbreaking achievement by passing a bill that requires that gender is considered in every part of the UK’s aid spending - the first law of its kind in the world and an exponential example for other countries and donors ahead of the final stages of the Post-2015 Agenda debate.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? 

GPP is committed to ensure women’s equality is at the core of the new development agenda. It’s also really important that we ensure that the sexual and reproductive health and rights are not dropped at key international meetings that are happening over the course of 2014. That’s why global citizens are calling on their own government ministers around the world to support sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, as an essential part of the new standalone gender equality goal in the post-2015 agenda. We’re asking global citizens to make this call heard while the global decision making community meets for the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss the achievements and failures of previous development goals for women and girls.