If we are to achieve the Global Goals by 2030 we must start by empowering girls and women. Data and experience has taught us that goals that work for women and girls are goals that will work for the world. Therefore we consider 2016 as the year for girls worldwide to be global superheroes, the first important step towards reaching the Global Goals.
The first political moment this year to turn words into action was the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women that took place this March. CSW set high standards for driving the implementation of the historic “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and the full realization of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, throughout their lives and in all their diversity.
The document adopted by CSW, titled “Women’s Empowerment and the link to Sustainable development,” shows a commitment by member states worldwide to make gender equality a priority. This built on an expanded commitments made in the Global Goals and 2030 Agenda.
Rightly, strategies and actions were also identified for engaging men and boys as agents and beneficiaries of change and as allies in the gender responsive implementation of the Global Goals. The importance of engaging, supporting and partnering within civil society – specifically the women’s movement and youth-led organizations – in an open, inclusive and transparent manner was also highlighted. These behaviors promote a safe and enabling environment for women.
That’s exactly what the Tbilisi Youth House Foundation, an information education center in the capital of the nation of Georgia, is all about: a safe and enabling environment for especially disadvantaged youth up to 18 years old to learn and express their opinions and be in charge of their own destiny.
One of the highlights of my entire trip to Georgia with the Executive Director of CWS partner organization Week of Compassion Vy Nguyen, was getting to meet Ani and Nini, two 15-year-olds. These girls participate in a full range of after school activities to make their time productive and educational while their parents are at work. When we asked them about the center, they said that the center helps them to be more active citizens and care for their city. They learn about problem solving and how to communicate better with others. In their words, “[we] want to solve the problems in our society.” Their broad smiles and optimism were infectious. “As the result of real life projects we are working on, we have realized that it is important to be a good citizen to make our community and world better.” “I want to become a lawyer, so that I can continue working on it.”
Clearly Ani and Nini are a good example of the Global Superheroes we need to reach the Global Goals and ensure that preserve our world for the next generation of sons and daughters.
Maurice Bloem is Executive Vice President at CWS.
The Global Goals are 17 goals to make our world a better place by 2030. This means ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and fixing climate change. They are indeed ambitious, but many people around the world were involved in developing these and they think it is achievable. In contrast to earlier efforts, the Global Goals were not compiled behind closed doors by a group of secret masterminds, but developed by all the 193 UN Member States, NGOs and people like you and me, all working together. They are applicable for ALL countries across the globe and contain concrete plans on how to change the world, how to pay for it and how to make sure that everybody is on board. No goal is more important than the other and they all complement each other. For more information visit globalgoals.org.