All posts tagged: SDGs

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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 …

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The Vital Need for Data to Improve Maternal Health

Globally and daily, around 830 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth – equivalent to nearly 35 women an hour. This results in over 300 000 maternal deaths each year – deaths that could be prevented if adequate care was provided. Skilled care before, during and after birth has been identified as one of the key strategies to reducing maternal deaths, a care that 25% of women still do not have access to. Bernice lives with her father and her four younger siblings in a small rural village in the north of Burundi. Her family, along with eight out of ten Burundians, live below the poverty line, and they depend fully on their household food crop production for their survival. Due to several droughts lately, they are currently facing severe food shortage. Bernice is pregnant with her first child, and even though she’s more than half way through her pregnancy, she hasn’t yet seen a doctor. She is severely malnourished, putting both her and her baby at an elevated risk of complications. Two years …

Dadam Ben tries to light the fire in the conventional cookstove in Ganeshpura village in District Mehsana in Indian State of Gujarat.

The Deadly Power of a Cookstove

2016—the year of a vociferous political climate, monumental policy changes, and finally the year of a forceful push toward gender equality. As an 18-year-old college freshman, I have recognized for years the existing gender gap, but I did not realize that something as simple as a cookstove could be an immense obstacle for closing the gender gap. I was a junior in high school when I had the opportunity to hear the CEO of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Radha Muthiah, and other esteemed women advocates promote the discourse about deleterious effects of climate justice on the global population, especially women. After listening to this Women In Peace panel, I truly realized that a girl’s fight across the globe, is also my fight; it is our fight.I am impassioned about the implications of primitive cooking methods because the effects are primarily on the health of women in low-income parts of the world. The underlying matter is that while open fire cooking and the burning of biomass and coal causes a significantly negative impact on the …

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Stories of Power: Women in Politics

Recently, there has been a growing focus on the importance of reliable, accurate gender data on the situation of women and girls. There are many reasons why data is important: we need accurate data so that we can prioritize. We need accurate data to know where we are starting from, so that we know if the programs we are implementing are actually working. We need data to know whether our work is benefitting people equally and reaching those who are most vulnerable. But data does something else too: It tells powerful stories. As the world is hopefully nearing a day when a woman is elected to be the president of one of the most powerful nations in the world, let’s see what kind of a story data tells us about women’s political participation globally. The aspect of women’s political participation and empowerment is also included in the Sustainable Development Goals, under Goal 5 about gender equality and women’s empowerment, for which target 5.5 is: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership …

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Women In Politics: Moving From the Periphery Toward Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions

With our sights and Twitter feeds plugged into #2030NOW, the UN has amplified not only the Sustainable Development Goals but also asked us to consider the world we want to live in in 2030. Regardless of our political affiliations, government is highly influential in shaping our world and governance is reflective of societal norms and power dynamics. A low representation of women in government does not lend itself to the inclusive, transparent, and just governance systems we have pledged to achieve by 2030 via Sustainable Development Goal 16, which calls for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. In excluding women from government, women’s preferences, voices, and citizenship are all disempowered. However, women advocates, UN organizations and others have stepped up and voiced these concerns and are actively working to increase female participation in government. For example, UN Women’s primary goal is to empower women and girls and has used the platform of Goal 16 to elevate the importance of transparent, inclusive governance in empowerment. Their solution involves developing the capacity to conduct gender analysis, monitoring systems to track good …

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Telling Stories: The Power of Data in Narrating the Lives of Girls

Today, October 11th, marks the sixth International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated around the world to bring attention to the rights and well-being of girls. Every year, a global theme is set for the Day by UNICEF – and this year, that theme is “Girls’ Progress = Goals Progress: What Counts for Girls”. The theme continues a recent global focus and emphasis on the importance of better gender data, especially with tracking the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Earlier this year at the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Melinda Gates pledged $80 million over the next three years from the Gates Foundation towards closing the gender data gap and accelerating progress for girls and women around the world. A new multi-partner coalition was formed, with organizations like Plan International, Women Deliver, International Women’s Health Coalition, KPMG and ONE Campaign to particularly track and drive progress on the gender targets of the SDGs. The newly released latest report on Plan International’s Because I am a Girl series, titled “Counting the Invisible”, explains how improving the …

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Men Must Be Part of the Solution – Sharing Realities from Uganda to the United States

By Priyanka Ghosh, Manager, Communications and Marketing, EngenderHealth The annual Social Good Summit is always an event I’d catch online, but this year was different because I had the opportunity to attend in-person, and it did not disappoint. One of the great sessions that I attended was the Social Good Master Class, which offered some great insight into the role of men and boys in family planning. The class is an opportunity for global bloggers and development practitioners to learn from thought leaders who “defied norms to make a difference.” The session was entitled “Family Planning: Not Just for Women” and focused on the need to engage men and boys as clients, partners, and agents of change to achieve global sexual and reproductive health goals and equality. Here are some highlights: Elman Nsinda, journalist, citizen activist, and member of the White Ribbon Alliance from Uganda, sparked the conversation by sharing a recent incident in Uganda when a man refused to pay a medical center 50,000 Ugandan shillings (around $20 USD) to help his wife, who …

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Meet Tilde Holm – Girls’ Globe Blogger from Sweden

Girls’ Globe is in New York City this week during the United Nations General Assembly – bringing young women from three different continents together to participate, provide live coverage and provide their perspectives on conversations related to the Sustainable Development Goals and the rights and health of women and girls. As a student of social sciences and international relations, Tilde Holm’s passion lies within improving our world and recognizing structures within it that limit equality. Her experience in writing includes an internship as a “Junior Journalist” at the local magazine “Helsingborgs Dagblad”, and one year of blogging for Girls’ Globe. Through Girls’ Globe Tilde has also attended Women Deliver 2016, where she gained experience in live coverage, official representation and efficient writing. Since 2014, Tilde has been organizing events and meetings within the local UN Youth Community, with a main focus on women’s and girls’ rights. Tilde’s current voluntary work for the Admissions and Communications Team of Nordic Study Abroad Conference allows her to gain further experience in English, marketing and organization of large-scale events. Cover photo: …

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How Businesses Can Partner for Sustainable Development (Video Blog)

There has been much emphasis this week at the UN General Assembly on involving businesses in the Sustainable Development Goals and creating lasting partnerships with the private sector. Below, I share some of my initial reactions and recommendations to engage businesses that are not yet partnering with efforts for sustainable development around the world. There are many businesses that are already socially conscious and entrenched in doing outstanding work by partnering to build a better world by 2030, but how can we get more companies involved? Cover photo credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park. 

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Obstetric Fistula and the Sustainable Development Goals

The UN General Assembly convenes in New York this week. On the agenda: discussion of the first Sustainable Development Goals Report, published in July 2016, which notes impressive gains made over the last few decades. But it is also a reminder that these gains aren’t shared by all. “Between 1990 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 44 percent.” —The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016 In Bangladesh, where Fistula Foundation actively funds fistula treatment, the maternal mortality ratio decreased by 69 percent between 1990 and 2015. But in rural areas of Bangladesh, where there is limited or no access to health facilities, unattended home births are still common, putting women at risk for death or injuries during childbirth. With over 65 percent of the country’s population living in rural areas, that means many Bangladeshi women are still at risk. Women like Ayesha. Ayesha’s story Ayesha labored at home for seven days. She desperately needed medical care, but there was no way to reach help. Stormy weather made it impossible to leave the small …