E.U. Gender Action Plan Places Women’s Rights At Center Of Development Agenda

Devex: E.U. Gender Action Plan: The case for smart development
Neven Mimica, E.U. commissioner for international cooperation and development

“…[G]ender equality is not only an issue of human rights; women’s empowerment is also about smart development and smart economics. Women’s participation in the economy is essential for sustainable development and economic growth and is intrinsically linked to the global goal of eradicating poverty. … The new E.U. Gender Action Plan for the period of 2016-2020 … is not simply another action plan — it is a refreshed, revamped, and ambitious political commitment that places gender at the heart of what E.U. does and, most importantly, it holds all of us to account on its delivery. … In 2016, as the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] start to be implemented, we need to ensure that the gender equality promises made in the [2030 agenda] are achieved. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is enshrined as a stand-alone goal (Goal 5), but more importantly, it runs as a thread throughout all the other goals. This is how it should be — we cannot achieve sustainable development by 2030 if half of the world’s population is left behind…” (1/13).