Global Day of Action: Calling for progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

SDG five bannerOn September 25th, we celebrate the second anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Day of action is a global mobilization of civil society organizations, NGOs, activists, SDG advocates and committed individuals to share their voices on the #GlobalGoals.  In September of 2015, UN member states agreed to a set of 17 “Global Goals” as part of their Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”), an initiative known formally as ”Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”These goals form a part of the UN Resolution A/RES/70/1, an intergovernmental agreement which acts as a successor to the Millennium Development Goals. The SDGs, which were developed through a deliberative process between the Member States and various sectors of civil society, include 169 targets and aim to tackle issues such as ending poverty, protecting the planet by combating climate change and making cities more sustainable, and ensuring prosperity for all by improving health and education. The term ‘Global Goals’ was introduced as part of an independent campaign to introduce the SDGs to a wider audience.SDGs five elements

Included in the 17 SDGs are goals that aim to end poverty and hunger; that promote health and well-being, quality education, decent work and economic growth, as well as responsible consumption and production; that facilitate access to clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, as well as constructing sustainable cities and communities, and infrastructure.          Other goals work to reduce inequalities, focus on both “life below water” and “life on land,” and work to strengthen “peace, justice, and strong institutions.”

The fifth SDG aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by promoting equitable “access to education, health care decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes.” Achieving these goals will aid in fostering sustainable economies, as well as providing long-lasting benefits to societies and humanity as a whole.

Framed as a “fundamental human right,” the SDG argues that gender inequality is still a prominent issue around the world, with women and girls regularly facing violence and discrimination. This state of inequality begins at birth, as female infants are often times deprived of access to adequate medical care and nutrition and thus face a higher mortality rate than their male counterparts. During adolescence, this inequality expands, and girls are confronted with child marriage and reduced access to education. These problems compound as women are less able to develop the skill sets needed to access labor markets. Other challenges that women around the world encounter include sexual and domestic violence and female genital mutilation/cutting. Thus, female empowerment is imperative for a society’s economic growth, social development, and overall wellbeing.

In order to combat these issues, SDG 5 lays out nine targets. The first and second goals aspire to end all discrimination and forms of violence against women and girls in both public and private sectors, especially in terms of human trafficking and other kinds of exploitation. The third target aims to end “harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.” Target four calls for the recognition of “unpaid care and domestic work” by providing “public services, infrastructure and social protection policies” while also advocating for an equal approach to household responsibility. The next points call for the facilitation of women’s full participation in all levels and sectors of decision-making, as well as “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.” The seventh target proposes reforms that would provide women with equal access to economic resources, such as “ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources.” The final two targets advocate for the use of technology, as well as the proposition, adoption and enforcement of legislation, in the process of promoting the equality of women.

There are some ways that you can take action. First, tell your leaders how they are doing by taking the “MY World Survey” and share it with your community/network. Second, you can amplify the Call to Action by joining the Social Media Campaign (#Act4SDGs), the Thunderclap, where you can donate your social media reach for one specific message about the Day of Action and encourage your friends and networks to make their voices heard. Finally, you can organize an event in your community where you can make a statement, engage leaders, collective voices, and celebrate action. 

Act for the SDGs and help us change the world for the better!

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