The theme of this year’s Social Good Summit was obviously looking ahead to the year 2030 – which is the due date for the yet finalized post-Millennium Development Goals – and discussing what needs to be improved and what we need to do in order to get the job done.

15 years seems so far away, and yet, I know for a fact that it will swing by before you know it. I mean, the past 15 years has definitely been the fastest roller coaster ride I’ve ever taken. Why wouldn’t I expect that for the next set of years?

Regardless, I noticed during this summit that while everyone was talking about the future, not a lot of people actually took the time to reflect upon what we have achieved with the MDGs. And there are some pretty impressive achievements too. So, I just wanted to point out some of the profound improvements:

In 2010, the global extreme poverty rate was halved – five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.
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Deaths by malaria have declined by 42% between 2000 and 2012.
MDG6

Children receiving primary education in developing regions increased to 90% in 2010, from 82% in 1999.
MDG2

These all seems like just some numbers and we could definitely try a little harder, but if you think about it, it’s truly an amazing thing we as a human race achieved for the better good. And now, we’re planning on a journey to meet another set of goals for the year 2030.

It pains me to even think about it, but I will be 43 years old when the post-MDGs are due – hopefully with a loving family and two pups to cuddle. So, I gave some considerable thought of what I would want as a middle-aged woman.

Good communication, global collaboration, partnership, all these sound good. But as a woman, as a mother, I found myself feeling stronger about women empowerment issues and child welfare in general – including mortality rate, education, psychosocial issues, etc.

We always talk about women empowerment, but we all know it still has a far way to go. There were many women speakers at the summit mentioning that they’d hope that women empowerment does not come up in year 2030, because it would’ve already been achieved. As a realist, I think that’s a bit too idealistic, however, it’s never bad to dream about it. And I even noticed, women empowerment in the context of developing countries is the very milestone for every positive outcome.

Women empowerment means a lot of things, but in developing country context, it means more economic independence and better educated mothers. More economically independent and educated mothers will eventually lead to the alleviation of poverty level of each household, which would then lead to more children receiving education, which would then lead to further educated and economically independent mothers, and on and on – an endless virtuous cycle.

It’s not an issue that’s going to be achieved in an instant, but it’s something worth fighting for.

So, this is what I want for year 2030.

What do you want?

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