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Stakeholders Call for Gender Equality Goal

UNWOMEN9 December 2013: UN Women convened a forum of stakeholders to review progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Participants called for a stand-alone goal on gender equality, as well as integration of gender equality issues across all other goals in the post-2015 development agenda.

UN Women convened the forum with representatives of Member States, research organizations and civil society from 4-5 December 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, in preparation for the 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 58) in March 2014.

Lakshmi Puri, UN Women, called for a gender equality goal to address: prevention of violence against women and girls; equal access to resources and opportunities; and leadership and participation. Participants identified issues of concern including: drivers of poverty that disproportionately affect women; austerity measures that assume women will pick up the cost of unpaid care work; and the need to close the gap between legislation and implementation.

Summarizing participants' views, John Hendra, UN Women, emphasized the need to go beyond laws and policies to ensure grassroots support and community buy-in. He noted that gender mainstreaming across all sectors will address areas such as transportation, fossil fuels, climate change, and water and sanitation. He said indicators for the post-2015 development agenda ought to be disaggregated by sex, age, income level, social groups and disability, to ensure the needs of specific groups are addressed. He called for reversing the "significant under-investment” in gender equality and women's empowerment to enable progress in the achievement of MDGs.

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka urged stakeholders to formulate a strong gender equality goal through international processes including: the CSW 58 review of progress on MDG implementation; the Beijing+20 review and appraisal; and negotiations toward the post-2015 development agenda. [UN Women Press Release, 4 December] [UN Women Press Release, 9 December] [Statement of UN Women Executive Director]