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MDGs and gender inclusion: placing women at centre

Apr 14, 2010

Making the MDGs Work Better for Women, a joint publication of UNDP and UNIFEM draws on good practices to elaborate key strategies for accelerating the pace for reaching the MDGs. It emphasises that achieving the goals hinges on making tangible progress with regards to gender equality across the developing world.

Making the MDGs Work Better for Women

Publisher: UNIFEM & UNDP, 2010

Gender equality have been embraced in the Millennium Declaration and recognised both as important goals in themselves and as central to achieving all of the MDGs agreed in 2000.Women’s empowerment and progress towards gender equality drives all of the MDGs.

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Making the MDGs work better for women implies that they work better for all. Innumerable studies have demonstrated that gender equality is a precondition for sustainable growth and poverty reduction. Where women are empowered we observe better health and education outcomes for their children as well as a more sustainable use of natural resources. Where women are meaningfully integrated into the labour force impressive advances in social well-being has been seen.

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are increasingly being used to frame national development strategies and the flow of aid resources. Important commitments have been made by Governments in the past years and the pivotal role of gender equality for development and poverty reduction has been recognised at all levels.

However, a major challenge today is turning these commitments into actions. Many national development plans still lack a gender perspective; governments and aid agencies still lack gender expertise; policies still lack appropriate gender sensitive targets and indicators; documents and studies still lack accurate data disaggregated by sex and gender statistics; and overall, commitments to gender equality lack provisions for financing and implementation.

This publication can serve as comprehensive guide for implementing Gender-Responsive National Development Plans. Through it various sections it looks at various aspects such as successes and road blocks in meeting MDG targets and the extent to which national reports have addressed gender in reporting on each goal and programmes, strategic priorities and actions, good practices and challenges in scaling up.

UNDP and UNIFEM have played a key role in assisting Governments and other stakeholders in many countries achieve progress and in developing and implementing programmes that support legislative and policy changes aiming at gender equality, promote women’s human rights and establish close partnerships with governments, gender equality advocates, the private sector and other agencies of the UN system.

This publication seeks to distil knowledge on successful practices developed through the “Gender and the Millennium Development Goals” project to highlight approaches that governments, donors and civil society can take to make the MDGs work better for women.

It does so by bringing together the knowledge and experience of these stakeholders in promoting gender-responsive MDG processes. It reviews the successes and challenges faced in meeting MDG targets and the extent to which national reports have addressed gender in reporting on each goal. It concludes with a set of key recommendations for advancing progress towards achieving gender equality.

This publication also draws on a range of monitoring reports, analytical assessments, action guides and training modules developed and published by various stakeholders including UN agencies and task forces, the World Bank and other donors, women’s networks and individual gender experts. These materials, listed under References, serve to support, strengthen and expand the pilot project outcomes and observations. They will be invaluable to users of this guide who wish to read more about using a gender-sensitive lens to assess and advance the MDGs so that they work better for women.

Source : UNIFEM
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