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Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda- A foundation for sustainable development

Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda- A foundation for sustainable development

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Published by OECD Publications
The post-2015 framework presents a unique opportunity to build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), while also addressing the dimensions that lag behind, such as gender and empowering women. It is time to act now – to increase both the political will and the resources to achieve full and lasting gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights. This paper reiterates the call for a post-2015 framework that retains a strong, standalone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and integrates gender-specific targets and indicators in the other goals.
http://www.oecd.org/dac/post-2015.htm
The post-2015 framework presents a unique opportunity to build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), while also addressing the dimensions that lag behind, such as gender and empowering women. It is time to act now – to increase both the political will and the resources to achieve full and lasting gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights. This paper reiterates the call for a post-2015 framework that retains a strong, standalone goal on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and integrates gender-specific targets and indicators in the other goals.
http://www.oecd.org/dac/post-2015.htm

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Published by: OECD Publications on Sep 11, 2013
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05/15/2014

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Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015agenda: A foundation for sustainable development
Gender equality and women’s rights are key to addressing the unnished business o theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs) and accelerating global development beyond 2015.Gender equality matters in its own right, and as a prerequisite or the health and developmento amilies and societies, and a driver o economic growth.
The post-2015 ramework should 1) retain a strong, stand-alone goal on gender equalityand women’s empowerment, as recommended by the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015Development Agenda (HLP); and 2) include gender-specic targets and indicators in the othergoals.
 A strong post-2015 ramework will take a holistic view o gender inequalities: 1) addressinggirls’ completion o a quality education, 2) women’s economic empowerment, 3) universalaccess to sexual and reproductive health and rights, 4) ending violence against women and girls,5) women’s voice, leadership and infuence, 6) women’s participation in peace and security,7) women’s contributions to environmental sustainability.
The new ramework will need to conront the discriminatory social norms and practices thatunderlie gender inequality, such as early marriage or tolerance o violence against women.
Targets and indicators on gender equality act as a powerul stimulus or action. When girls andwomen are visible in data collection and reporting, governments and donors invest more ingender equality. There is an urgent need or ongoing investment in statistical capacity buildingand monitoring to improve the measurement o gender equality indicators and the collection odata disaggregated by sex.
OECD AND POST-2015 REFLECTIONS
Why ocus on gender equality in the post-2015 agenda?
There is no chance o making poverty history without signicant and rapid improvements to the liveso women and girls in all countries. Millennium Development Goal 3 – “to promote gender equalityand empower women” – signalled global recognition that this is both an important development goalin itsel, and a key to the success o all the other goals.The post-2015 ramework presents a unique opportunity to build on the achievements o theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs), while also addressing the dimensions that lag behind. Itis time to act now – to increase both the political will and the resources to achieve ull and lastinggender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights.
Element 3, PAPER 1
 
GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN THE POST-2015 AGENDA: A FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
2
Box 1. Millennium Development Goal 3
MDG 3:
To promote gender equality and empower women.
Target:
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preerably by 2005, and in all levels oeducation no later than 2015.
Indicators:
ratios o girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
share o women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
proportion o seats held by women in national parliaments.
Source: 
UN (2013), We Can End Poverty 2015: Millennium Development Goals, UN website,
www.un.org/millenniumgoals.
Reviewing the Millennium Development Goal on gender equality 
Progress towards the Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG 3; see Box 1) target has been mixed. Although gender equality in access to primary schooling has almost been achieved in most countries,there are still 68 countries where the disparity remains signicant. Girls’ enrolment in basic educationis lowest in sub Saharan Arica, Oceania and the Middle East. Moreover, gender disparities widen insecondary and tertiary education in most developing countries. While more women have enteredthe workorce in recent decades, they typically work at the inormal end o labour markets withpoor earnings and insecure conditions. This increases the risk o poverty across their liecycle andmakes it less likely that they will be covered by social protection schemes and benets such aspensions. Women still ace a gender pay gap, segregation in occupations and glass ceilings, withover-representation in low-paying jobs and under-representation in senior positions. Around 800women die every day rom preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth, making MDG 5 onmaternal health the most o track MDG goal in 2013.Despite progress in some areas, the OECD report Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now (2012a) oundthat gender equality and women’s empowerment remain “unnished business” across all countries.Its key ndings were:
Better gender equality in education boosts emale labour orce participation and economicgrowth.
In many low-income countries, young women are less likely than young men to be in paid work,education or training. They are also less likely to complete secondary education.
Schools need to be made saer and more aordable or girls.
Women in inormal employment tend to be over-represented among domestic and amilyworkers. They are at greater risk o poverty and have limited prospects o upward mobility.
Occupational segregation has not improved and gender pay gaps persist.
 
3
Box 2. Actions that will make a dierence
To address the “unnished business” o gender equality andwomen’s empowerment, it is essential to
put women and girlsront and centre
o the post-2015 ramework by:
Retaining a
stand-alone gender equality and women’sempowerment goal and addressing gender equalitythroughout the post-2015 development agenda.
This“twin-track” approach has wide-ranging support romgovernments, the United Nations and civil society (HLP,2013; UN Women, 2013; GADN, 2013).
Conronting and transorming the social norms andinstitutions
that discriminate against women and girls,such as the acceptability o domestic violence.
Gathering and using
high quality data
to monitor progressand
build evidence
about what works.
Tracking governments’ expenditure
and the proportion oall development co-operation ocused on achieving genderequality and women’s empowerment.
Cultural barriers need to be challenged, as well as the stereotyping o women’s roles in society,business and the public sector.
Women entrepreneurs remain a minority in all countries. Enterprises owned by women aresignicantly smaller and less well represented in capital-intensive sectors.
In developing economies, women are much more likely to own small enterprises in the inormalsector than the ormal one. Ensuring equal access to nance or male and emale entrepreneursis a priority.
In most countries, women are still under-represented in parliaments, judicial systems, executivebranch o governments, and senior civil service – even in countries where they account or themajority o public sector workers.
A stand-alone goal on gender equality and women’s rights 
Eminent persons recognised the need to keep gender equality as a stand-alone goal in the UNSecretary General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP, 2013). They alsoproposed national targets on eliminating violence against women and girls; ending early marriage;ensuring access, ownership andinheritance o assets; and eliminatingdiscrimination against women inpolitical, economic and public lie. A strong, stand-alone goal is neededto tackle the gender inequalities thatremain widespread and persistentacross the world and whichleave women disproportionatelyrepresented amongst the poorestand most marginalised people. A stand-alone gender equality goal isalso strategically important in orderto remove barriers to progress inthe other goals. This paper does notattempt to identiy specic targetsand indicators, but recommendsthat a stand-alone gender equalitygoal should have a limited numbero targets, without which genderequality and women’s empowermentcannot be achieved. The proposedtargets or ending early marriage and stopping violence against women and girls are good examples(see the section on measurement and data below).

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