Whole world is waiting for the announcement on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be announced in coming September. SDGs are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. And with this announcement, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be ended up. The development actors are eagerly waiting to set their next goals for the betterment of the society and human rights. I was curious about the Millennium Development Goal 3- promoting gender equality and empowering women. Unicef has done a good report on that. A recently published report demonstrate the present scenario with data. The actual aim under this goal was to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005 and in all levels of education no later than 2015. Education is power. This power can break poverty and bring empowerment. So, providing education to girls can help them to be empowered and face the violence against them. Educated women are less likely to marry early and against their will; more likely to have healthy babies and more likely to send their children to school. Once this get in to the cycle of a woman’s life, it runs generations after generations.
Interestingly, four regions have achieved gender parity at the primary level and South Asia experienced the most accelerated progress between 1999 and 2012. The regions are Central and Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS); East Asia and the Pacific; Latin America and the Caribbean and South Asia. Female enrollment ratios at the tertiary level are considerably higher than those of males in four regions. Global data says that, the numbers of out-of-school children at primary level were 44 millions (male) and 62 millions (female) in 1999, which shows the difference between male and female is 29%. But this data has significantly changed in 2012. The difference has decreased in 13%. On the other hand,
Still, there are black n white pictures in gender parity. Even the regions that have achieved gender parity, pockets of girls or boys remain disadvantaged in many countries. In 2015, 69% of countries with data will have achieved gender parity at the primary level, while 48% will have achieved it at the secondary level. The gender gaps remains large-particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty and other forms of social disadvantage magnify gender disparities. If current trends continue, these girls are only expected to achieve universal lower secondary completion in 2111.
There are 17 goals proposed in the SDGs. There is no specific goals on violence against children. But it is present across five of the 17 goals and eight of the 169 targets, or 14% of the total. One of the targets (4.a) say about building and upgrading education facilities that are child disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all. It caught my attention. I think this is a very important target to achieve gender equality. Because education is the most valuable factor to break the social stigma. Educated person can change oneself with the course of time, as well as change the society. I believe once this target be achieved successfully, other targets will be attained accordingly. International non-profit organizations are making their strategies, relating to SDGs. Hope this Sustainable Development Goals will start the journey of a new sustainable earth, where everybody will enjoy equal rights!