The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs came into effect in January 2016, and were created following the largest consultation program in the history of the United Nations. Using the SDG framework, governments, the private sector, civil society and individual citizens are working together to reach the targets set out by 2030. The SDGs follow and expand upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were agreed to in 2001 and expired in 2015. There is broad agreement that, while the MDGs provided a framework for governments to develop policies and overseas aid programs, which were designed to end poverty and improve the lives of those living in poverty, they were too narrow.

There are seventeen SDG goals, including ones focused on ending poverty, and addressing hunger, education gaps, clean water, economic growth, climate change and of course, gender equality. (Link to full list of goals)

Goal 5 focuses solely on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, but many of the other goals also have targets to measure impact on women and girls. Goal 5 outlines the following:

  • Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
  • Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
  • While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.

In this space, we will report on — and track — efforts to measure the progress of the United States towards Goal 5. We will also share other interesting information around the topic. Your thoughts and additional materials may be sent to [email protected]. We look forward to collaborating with you.