Post-2015: Are women and men equally shaping future development goals? | Tracy Vaughan Gough

27 May 2013

 A woman joins her two male co-workers at a brick field in West Bengal, India. (Photo: Joydeep Mukherjee/UNDP Photo Contest)

Roughly half of the 700,000 people who have taken part so far in the UN’s global discussions about the future development framework are women and girls.

Demand is increasing for both an individual goal on gender equality which would tackle underlying discrimination and for more emphasis on gender issues in general.

This is partly because men and women do not always share the same concerns, as is illustrated by the MY World global survey. Data shows that both sexes agree on the top development priorities for their lives — a good education, better healthcare and an honest and responsive government — but a key difference is that women rank equality between men and women in ninth place whereas men rank it second to last, in 15th place.
Differences have also emerged during the 88 national consultations that are taking place around the world.

In Kosovo for example, women said they were concerned about discrimination and social attitudes toward them, whereas men focused more on their status and health issues.

In Egypt, female participants highlighted how violence against women and girls is used as a means to limit their public engagement.
Gender issues came up in many other Post-2015 platforms.

A meeting focused on governance concluded that “…persistent gender inequality is a governance failure…. Greater coherence is needed between trade, debt and investment policies, on the one hand, and gender equality, human rights and development priorities, on the other to ensure that other public policies do not undermine gender and human rights related goals.”

The Global Conversation Begins,” the report on the initial findings from the Post-2015 consultations, also emphasizes that gender equality is “a precondition for several agendas, including reducing food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition, decreasing violence and making inroads into energy poverty.”

Yet, efforts to advocate for a comprehensive, gender-responsive set of sustainable development goals must carry on to promote the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in achieving sustainable human development for all.

Let us continue the discussion. Tell world leaders what your priorities are for the future development agenda by voting at

UNDP Around the world