On 25-27 September 2015, member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 agenda at the UN Sustainable Development Summit.

UN SDGs 2015

Photo credit: sustainabledevelopment.un.org

After years of work promoting a conflict prevention approach to development that strengthens women’s participation and rights for peace, WILPF has contributed to successfully advocating for stand alone goals on both gender equality (Goal 5) and stable and peaceful societies (Goal 16).

The goals include targets on illicit arms (16.4), promoting a culture of peace and non-violence (4.7), ensuring inclusive and participatory decision-making (16.7) and ensuring equal access to justice for all (16.3). They also include a target on mobilising additional financial resources (17.3), which WILPF reminded states must build on women’s rights commitments and include the reduction of military financing.

WILPF affirms that the SDGs can be a critical tool for addressing the conflict prevention gap, and should be implemented within a holistic framework that recognises other obligations including women’s human rights and the Women, Peace and Security agenda. This includes financing UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans and regulating arms that risk gender-based violence, consistent with SDG 5 and 16 as well as UNSCR 1325 and the Arms Trade Treaty.

While the SDGs provide an additional tool for action, they are not enough. WILPF joins our partners, the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition and the Women’s Major Group in welcoming this new tool and reminding states that women’s rights and peace must be at the centre of implementation efforts.

PW womens major group 2015

Members of the Women’s Major Group at their Feminist Forum in September 2015

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals have the potential to transform the lives of women everywhere and promote peace. WILPF works with a range of partners to encourage a conflict and violence prevention approach to development that strengthens gender equality and peace.

Post-2015 Women’s Coalition SDG Response

As the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition reminds states, the 2030 Agenda is still incomplete and does not address structural and systematic inequalities and discrimination. Goals can only be successful if structural barriers including gendered inequalities are addressed for every person everywhere.

Women’s Major Group SDG Response

As the Women’s Major Group reminds states, ensuring that Goal 17 on Means of Implementation as well as the Financing for Development Addis Ababa Action Agenda are effectively carried out from a gender perspective is critical. As Tessa Khan of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, has stated, the Financing for Development agreement has actually perpetrated entrenched gender inequality; this poses major barriers both to women’s rights and the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

What’s Next & Where do we go from here?

In New York, member states and international civil society are continuing the work of the SDGs by addressing accountability on commitments through devising an indicator framework. Keep pushing your government to mainstream gender equality and reflect structural inequalities between people and between states!

Beyond New York, the impact is up to you: Don’t let these goals be a dead letter!

Demand that your government act to prevent conflict and promote peace by redirecting military spending into gender equitable development. We must ensure that gender equality is a key factor in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.


Read more about WILPF’s work on the 2030 Agenda in our blog posts: Design development for gender equality and peace and Post-2015 development agenda – Towards sustainable development goals.

Read the full Post-2015 Women’s Coalition SDG Response

Read the full Women’s Major Group Response