Empowering Women and Girls is Vital for the Successful Delivery of the SDGs

This week marks the start of the UN’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF), 5th to the 15th July. The HLPF is the UN’s central platform that tracks and promotes progress on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This event will acknowledge the impacts COVID-19 has had on their progress and set out plans to reach successful outcomes across the SDGs.

The theme for the 2022 HLPF is: “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

One of the main areas of focus for the event will be on gender equality and empowering women and girls to accelerate the recovery from COVID-19. In March of this year, at the Commission on the Status of Women, Secretary-General António Guterres told the opening session to forge a sustainable future for us all, “women and girls must be front and centre, leading the way”.

Lots of great work to ensure women are leading the way has been going on for years across the world. In India, with support from global investors, the development of new and/or more local banks and higher levels of education has increased the number of women-owned businesses in India from 14% to over 20% of the country in the last decade (Source: 10 Successful Rural Women Entrepreneurs In India – ZeroKaata Studio March, 2021).

Programmes like the inspirational Arogya Sakhi programme run by the NGO Armman are making a difference. The programme trains women health entrepreneurs (Arogya Sakhis) from communities in resource-poor rural areas in India to provide home-based preventive care, perform diagnostic tests and screen for high-risk factors ensuring early referral during the antenatal and infancy period.

It is this form of empowerment which will make the difference in the long run and not only deliver on the goals for SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women) but many others too.

H.E. Ambassador Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of ECOSOC summed it up in his blog in May:

“Let us be inspired to accelerate the actions needed so that in 2030 we will end the decade in a much better place than we would have imagined at the beginning of 2020. We will see a world where benefits are shared more equally, where all have access to opportunities, where those who are vulnerable can be protected and where our natural resources and environment are thriving under our thoughtful and nature-positive stewardship.”

For more information on the work needed in this area, take a look at the work our client WeProsper is doing in this space and sign up to their panel debate during the HLPF on women’s empowerment through care investment: WeProsper Care investment event 13th July

For more on SDG 5 and progress on delivering the SDGs please visit: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal5