Enshrining SDG 8 in recovery policies is key to achieve the Goals under review at the HLPF 2022, starting from gender equality

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) held an online side-event event at the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) on Monday 11 July. The event focused on policy priorities to foster progress towards a new social contract for a gender-transformative agenda.

The debate was framed both within the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are under review in this edition of the HLPF and within the SDG8-driven policy recommendations that the International Trade Union Confederation has submitted to the HLPF.

Speaking about the interlinkages between gender equality (SDG 5) and decent work (SDG 8), the president of COSATU, Zingiswa Losi, underlined the imperative need for global actions to address the crisis of gender inequality, which has critically been exacerbated by Covid-19. Using examples from the global level and from South Africa, Losi made a challenging description of the reality millions of women are struggling against every day.

“It is high time to achieve economic justice for women and recognise the fundamental role of their work, that keeps our societies going,” she said.

Susan Hopegood, president of Education International, talked about the means to advance towards equal access to education and lifelong learning for women (SDG 4 and 5) in the frame of a new social contract. She set out a list of six important goals: 1) equal access to education; 2) challenge gender norms; 3) accurate gender disaggregated data; 4) women in leadership positions; 5) equal access to the labour market; and 6) gender-sensitive policies and budgets.

Quality education is a human right! And yet, 129 million girls are out of school worldwide. It is about time to address the persisting gender disparity in accessing education around the globe” she called.

The Special Representative to the UN and Director of the ILO Office for the United Nations, Beate Andrees presented the work that the International Labour Organization (ILO) is conducting as the leading UN body of the UN Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions. She underlined the importance of linking polices with financing and, hence, to have the different bodies of the multilateral system on board.

In addition to focusing on eradicating gender-based discrimination, the ILO also works on addressing the broad wage inequality that is severely affecting marginalised workers in the informal economy and low-paid jobs,” stressed Andrees.

Closing the panel session, Flor de Lis Vásquez, from the Permanent Mission of México to the United Nations, presented the global initiative “Global Alliance for Care” and explains the alliance’s main objectives. “Our aim is to put in place a global feminist care agenda by 2026,” she underlined.

Moderated by the ITUC Equality Director, Paola Simonetti, the event was completed with a dynamic session of questions with the affiliates from all regions who attended the event.

This event was organised in the frame of the HLPF 2022 and the ITUC global campaign #timefor8