First SDG Road Show in Nepalgunj

Date: Monday, October 24, 2016

Remarks by Gitanjali Singh,Remarks by Gitanjali Singh, UN Women Deputy Representative for the First SDG Road Show in Nepalgunj, 24 October 2016

Honourable Local Development Officer (LDO) Mr. Bhushal,
Distinguished guests,
Good Afternoon and Namaste,

I am very pleased to be here with you for the first SDG Road show.

As had been highlighted by previous speakers, the SDGs provide a universal, transformative road map to achieve sustainable development by “leaving no one behind”. This is an ambitious goal and we all have a role to play.

No country has achieved gender equality. SDG 5 focuses on gender equality (GE) and the empowerment of women and girls. The focus is on “achievement” of GE/WE and not “promotion”. So we now have an end date of 2030 to end discrimination against women and girls. Tomoo mentioned integration as a key point in his presentation - Goal 5 is a standalone goal but must be mainstreamed across all the goals. Boys and men have an important role to play in the achievement GE/WE.

Data shows 143 out of 195 countries guarantee equality between women and men in their constitutions. Yet we all know discrimination against women and girls persists in many areas directly or indirectly. Nepal has made significant progress on normative commitments to GE/WE. There are several laws and policies to achieve GE/WE. Going forward we need to focus on addressing the implementation deficit.

Globally 4.5 million people are victims of forced sexual exploitation- 98 per cent are women and girls. Women's representation and leadership in decision making in the political, economic and public life is another important component of SDG 5. Nepal has the highest number of women in Parliament in South Asia. But we need women’s leadership in across all sectors. 50% of the world’s working age women are in the labour force compared to 75 per cent men. Globally women earn 24 per cent less than men.

I have a question for all of you - can a team win if 50 per cent of its players are not on the field?

You are right – it can’t. The same way no country can make progress of 50 per cent of its population -women and girls are left out. SDG Goal 5 is an unfinished agenda. But it's achievement will be transformative for peace, justice and inclusive sustainable development in all countries. We need to step up efforts to achieve Planet 50:50 by 2030.