On March 8, 2016, the UN set the theme for International Women’s Day – Planet 50-50 by 2030. UN Women has gone the extra mile to ensure that the female perspective is included in international affairs. The UN, in turn, has ensured that women participation is present every crucial decision-making process. For this, The UN Sustainable Development Goals came into force. All of these 17 goals demand the critical role of women in sustainable development. In the next 12 years, the UN aims at establishing gender equality by working on sustainable development simultaneously. Let us examine the critical role of women in sustainable development.
Exploring the critical role of women in sustainable development:
On a surface level, gender equality has a Sustainable Development Goal of its own. However, this might not be enough to justify the crucial role of women in sustainable development. To explore this relationship, one must draw interconnections between women empowerment and sustainable development. Environmental and gender studies often neglect these interconnectedness in practice. UN Sustainable Development Goals are just the right measure to take if the UN seeks empowered women and greener spaces.
Women empowerment and sustainable development – Two sides of the same coin:
One must pay heed to the critical role of women in sustainable development. Omniscient patriarchy often marginalizes the women from the mainstream functions in a society. However, it is to be noted that from these very margins, women bring unique perspectives about sustainable development to the table. Their ideas, thoughts, and concerns are different that those of men. Their suggestions also stand out as the more practical ones. Women have the potential to provide permanent sustainable solutions to hard hitting challenges such as poverty, climate change, disasters, and calamities.
To this effect, the decision-making process regarding sustainable development must include women’s participation. The opportunity to rub shoulders with men gives these women an opportunity to empower themselves, their communities, and the nations that they inhabit. Without the participation of women in UN sustainable goal development, its success is just a dream that is beyond reality’s grip.
Looking in the eye of the invisible issues:
Why must women be integrated in the process of sustainable development? The answer to this question leads us to another question. Why must women empowerment and sustainable development go hand in hand? Because a capitalist economy looks at both the women and the nature as passive resources. Women’s labour and nature’s services remain devalued, and our political, economic, and social systems do not recognize either of the two. This is the case even after researches have recorded women’s willingness to participate in peace treaties as well as military warfare. These researchers have also concluded that with the participation of women in political spaces have resulted in congenial outcomes for the law and the nation. The participation of women in UN sustainable development goals can translate into healthier societies and stronger economies. It is thus, both imperative and inevitable that women play an essential role in the creation of a better, safer world.
Examining the UN sustainable goal development through a gendered perspective:
UN Women has published a new flagship report titled, “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This report provides a detailed assessment of the progress and the challenges one might encounter while implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals from a gendered perspective. This report aims at examining the critical role of women in sustainable development. The report also analyses how gender equality is crucial for the success of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN aims at rebuilding, reimagining, and redeveloping societies across the globe. Hence, it is an absolute necessity for the UN to be a model of change right from this moment. The UN recognizes the critical role of women in sustainable development as well as in its implementation. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals cannot function without the active participation of women. If this theme turns into a success, and it will, the future will witness an increase in women leadership roles. Be it today or a decade later, women are a crucial part of global development and growth. And they will remain so.