All posts filed under: Post-2015 Agenda

The Forgotten Development Goal: Personal Reflections

Sustainable Development Goal 18: Engagement and Interest for Development Within All People. How does that sound? Why is this goal needed when we already have 17 of them? But I know that if it actually was an SDG it would already be achieved. I can confidently say so after having the honor of attending this year’s United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) Week in New York City. If we take a look at the Millennium Development Goals I think that – to be honest – it was a thing created by force. The world was falling apart and our world leaders just had to figure out a solution. The result of that were a few great, optimistic, goals that we were all supposed to work on together. Where did it go wrong? How come we did not achieve the Millennium Development Goals? Of course, there were plenty of reasons. For example the lack of detailed targets and goals, the unrealistic part of achieving them and the missing piece of partnership. But the one thing I see in the …

Partnership for Progress: Post-UNGA Reflections

1+1=3. This equation hardly makes sense in mathematics, but in social impact it’s everything. Why work separately when we, together, can achieve more with less means? The 17th goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) captures the most effective way of change making: Partnership.  ”We are all travelers on the same planet headed towards the same future”. These words really spoke to me during presentation by NASA astronauts. It really makes sense to view people as a collective rather than individuals when speaking about the future of the world. If we have this collective mindset, it feels rather stupid not to help each other when working towards the same goals. Generally, society is about individual actors working for profit, sovereign states with different interests, companies working for money and individuals making their living. However, when striving for comprehensive progression in our society, we cannot walk alone. This is why it is so important that we come together and partner to achieve the SDGs. It’s sometimes difficult to understand how partnership for social good works. Collaboration feels …

“How Old Will You Be in 2030?”

How old will you be in 2030? This was the question I asked young women leaders numerous times during my week providing coverage of the United Nations General Assembly. This is the question that puts into perspective the plans set out by the United Nations to improve and create a more healthy, equal world. Come 2030, current UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, will be 86. Two top UN Secretary General successor frontrunners, Helen Clark and Susanna Malcorra, will be 80 and 76, respectively. In 2030, I will be 41. The young leaders I interviewed will be anywhere from 29-35 years old. Although we did not lead in creating them, these goals will be our goals to realize and bring to fruition. Thankfully, as US Youth Observer to the UN Nicol remarked during the UN General Assmebly week, “In the 20 least developed countries in the world, young people are the majority. There is power in our numbers.” There is a plethora of untapped potential in the places that need the most transformation. Because of that, the biggest …

Girl Up Teen Advisors on the World in 2030

When we think about young people in relation to the Agenda 2030, what often comes to mind is that they will be beneficiaries of the development goals. However, young people are proving time and time again that they are not just recipients of change but are driving change in their own right. They are active decision makers in the development process and are making huge contributions to co-create the world they want and need. Girls’ Globe bloggers had the opportunity to meet with and speak to Girl Up Teen Advisors from who are committed to girls’ and women’s empowerment and working to support the empowerment of girls BY girls. Some of the questions we explored with them include: How old they would be in 2030? How they hope the world would change by then? What do they think girls really need? Which of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) do they feel mostly strongly about? What will they be doing to advance the particular goal they feel strongly about? We hope they will not only inspire you but give you hope in the …

Braver, Stronger and Smarter – Sustainable Development Goal 10

“You think we can make it?” “We have 10 minutes and we are 6 blocks away.”  “I think we have to run.” “Let’s do it!” And so two women ran the streets of New York (with tiny heels on) just to make it to the United Nations during the its 71st General Assembly.  Some things are too precious to walk towards, you just have to run even in your heels. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 10 isn’t quite focused on running in heels, but it is focused on inequalities. And women and girls face a multitude of inequalities especially within the refugee population. In spite of their perilous situations, these girls have a thirst for education and eagerly run towards it. Women and girls need a myriad of things from love and support to opportunities and mentors. We need access to resources, quality education and initiatives that foster and highlight leaders within the family unit, the community, and society as a whole. Most importantly we need education – and by education I mean good education. …

The Power of Empowering Women and Girls

We can’t talk about creating sustainable change and development without taking into account available resources. Engaging people and allowing more and more citizens – particularly women and girls – to actively participate in global processes and decision making bodies, and letting their opinions guide action, can be seen as costly or complicated. So how do we make this work in reality? Yes, resources are relevant – but often, the one main thing women and girls really need to be able to meaningfully participate in decision making processes is support. Ensuring that women and girls are actively involved in the Sustainable Development Goals is crucial not only for the realization of the SDGs, but for gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. We cannot strive towards a set of global goals with half of humanity left behind, or left outside of the rooms and spaces where decisions are made, agendas are crafted and priorities are set. Women and girls don’t just deserve a spot at the table – without them at the table, we will never reach …

The Importance of Data: To Make Women Count, Count Women

“We can’t close the gender gap without closing the data gap.” That was the key message of the speech by Melinda Gates at a session titled “A Girls’ and Women’s lens on the SDGs ” at Women Deliver. With a new plan of action, new goals and a new roadmap for achieving them, it is more crucial than ever to ensure we are able to measure the progress properly. Yet, the data is still incomplete, and the dark numbers are huge. Is it really that difficult to gather data, and how do we change that? Data is necessary for knowing what’s happening, and how to move further. Without being able to measure the right things, we cannot know where and how to invest money and time. And often, where help is the most needed, the numbers are the most misleading. As Gates pointed out later on during her presentation, “Where the data does exist, quite often it’s sexist.” Now, how can numbers and statistics be sexist? Basically, the surveys are often focusing on men and …

Nordic Midwifery Congress Tackles Challenges and Unites for Action

The Nordic Midwifery Congress 2016 opened with more than 800 midwives from the whole Nordic region and beyond, gathering together to share research, best practices, experiences and inspiration. Leaders in midwifery, sexual, reproductive and maternal health opened the Congress. Girls’ Globe had the opportunity to speak with them directly. The Presidents of Midwives united in the messages to empower midwives to take action. “There is no place for complacency” said Frances Day-Stirk, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, and the Keynote Speaker at the opening of the congress. Girls’ Globe had the opportunity to speak with these inspirational leaders. Mia Ahlberg, President of the Swedish Midwives Association   Hildur Kristjánsdóttir, President of the Nordic Federation of Midwives   Frances Day-Stirk, President of the International Confederation of Midwives   Kristina Ljungros, President of RFSU   Girls’ Globe is at the NJF Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. Follow the conversations here on girlsglobe.org and through the hashtag #midwives4all on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more through the following links: NJF Congress, 2016 The Swedish Association of Midwives Midwives4all

A Mother’s Keynote Address to Canadian Parliament

This speech was given by Faridah Luyiga Mwanje, Communication Officer with White Ribbon Alliance in Uganda, to the Canadian Parliament today, on the International Day of the Midwife.  I stand before you today as a woman, as a mother, as a citizen of Uganda and an advocate for reproductive health and rights. I am happy and honoured to be here, but a few years ago I never would have imagined that I would come to Canada to thank the Canadian Government and Canadian organizations for their continued investment in the health of women and children globally – and specially to talk about the realities faced by adolescents in my country. But my life changed forever when my own sister, Remie Wamala, died in childbirth in 2013. She bled to death at a hospital in Kampala leaving behind a heartbroken husband and four children. Her baby, my nephew, Lucky Wamala survived but suffered brain damage. Remie was only one of the 17 mothers and 106 newborns who still die every day during childbirth in Uganda. My sister was a mature married woman who worked for the government on …

Global Advocacy at CSW: Girls’ Rights On Our Own Terms

For the past week, I have had the opportunity to join hundreds of girls and young women in the annual Commission on the Status of Women at the UN. Together with eight leaders from the Girl Child Platform, we advocated for two things: that the rights of girls and women needed to be at top of every development agenda and we need to define the empowerment of girls and youth on our own terms. First of all, the rights of girls need to be defined in a comprehensive and ambitious way. Governments in partnership with the development community need to guarantee every girl’s right to a life free of violence and discrimination; the right to health, education and adequate nutrition; the right to water and the right to a healthy environment. All these rights need to be guaranteed in order to ensure the wellbeing of girls. Throughout the event, we worked to raise the rights of girls in the agenda and to ensure they are all guaranteed in a comprehensive way. When it comes to international …