The Millennium Development Goals [The MDGs], adopted after the 2000 Millennium Summit, mark the first time the international community has embraced a common set of basic development goals on poverty, education, gender, child mortality, maternal health, epidemic diseases, environmental sustainability and development financing.
All eight MDGs touch essential aspects of women's well being; women's advancement is in turn critical for achieving the goals. The United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] is deeply involved with four critical entry points: monitoring, analysis, advocacy and operational programmes that help countries transform the promises of the goals into real progress.
UNIFEM helps women evaluate whether or not their countries are on track to meet the MDGs, including through the use of sex-disaggregated data and indicators that fully account for gender gaps, and the budgets allocated to address those gaps.
High-level Event in New York
World leaders will come together in New York on 25 September 2008 for a meeting convened by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN General Assembly to renew commitments to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to set out concrete plans and practical steps for action.
Goal 3, Gender Equality
PPSEAWA as an organization is in support of the MDG Goal 3 and has set the May 2010 conference in Bali as a forum to report all member country progress toward those goals. To that end, the PPSEAWA Council meeting in Hawaii in May 2008 has set seven strategic Priorities for action on MDG Goal 3.
Target 3A is to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.
Subgoals within the target include:
- increasing ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education;
- increase the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector; and
- increase the proportion of seats held by women in national assemblies.
Each member country of PPSEAWA has been asked to appoint a Programme Person to coordinate the work locally and the United Nations Representatives are asked to submit recommendations and resolutions from their respective meetings. The Council accepted the mission to provide training on MDG strategies at the 2010 PPSEAWA Conference as well as seek funding sources to support those efforts. Each member country will showcase their activities toward goal 3 in Bali.
Seven Strategic Priorities for Action on MDG Goal 3
- Strengthen opportunities for post-primary education for girls while meeting commitments to universal primary education.
- Guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights.
- Invest in infrastructure to reduce women and girl's time burden.
- Guarantee women and girl's property inheritance rights.
- Eliminate gender inequality in employment by decreasing women's reliance on informal employment, closing gender gaps in earnings, and reducing occupational segregation.
- Increase women's share of seats in national parliaments and local government bodies.
- Significantly reduce violence against girls and women.
Challenges to Goal 3
PPSEAWA recognizes that there will be numerous interventions made to achieve MDG 3 in each of our countries and that the challenges will be many and varied.
- education about reproductive health and access to that care.
- shift the burden of care for children and the sick and elderly in societies to a more equitable sharing between genders.
- Increase training and support for women who enter and stay to work in the political arena.
None of the work will be easily accomplished but we look forward to sharing our successes in 2010.