Will Sustainable Development Goals include gender equality?

The International Trade Union Confederation, Public Services International and Education International participated in the 8th Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations.

In the session on “Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment”, interventions revealed widespread support across regions for both a standalone gender equality goal and the integration of gender-specific targets and indicators across the goals.

This reflects the position of the international labour movement.

In terms of women’s rights, several issues emerged as priorities: violence against women and girls; women’s voice, leadership and participation and women’s economic rights. Many states also expressed strong support for sexual and reproductive health rights.

One priority for unions is a goal on Full and Productive Employment and Decent Work with a specific indicator on gender equality at work.

Unfortunately, discussions in the Open Working Group session did not mention the importance of employment and decent work. Nonetheless, repeated references were made to trade issues and the impact of globalization on social development.

As stated by workers representatives, it is essential to remember that “most of the jobs created in the last two to three decades are short-term, part-time, temporary, casual or informal, and largely precarious. A majority of these lower paid, less protected workers are women.”

For more information,

Statement by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Education International (EI), Public Services International (PSI), and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for the 8th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals

Progress report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on
Sustainable Development Goals: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/3238summaryallowg.pdf

Co-Chairs’ summary of the Open Working Group Session: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/3190cochairsummarybullets.pdf

The ITUC would like to thank Sandra Vermuyten, PSI, for this blog article