Place Women At Center Of Global Development Agenda

“It’s time for women to move from the sidelines to the center” of the global development agenda, and “we must build on the achievements of the [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)] while avoiding their shortcomings,” Lakshmi Puri, U.N. assistant-secretary general and acting head of U.N. Women, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “To make greater progress, U.N. Women proposes a stand-alone goal to achieve gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment that is grounded in human rights and tackles unequal power relations,” she writes, adding, “We envision three areas that require urgent action.” She continues, “First, ending violence against women and girls must be a priority”; “Second, women and men need equal opportunities, resources and responsibilities to realize equality”; “And third, women’s voices must be heard … in the household, the private sector and institutions of governance.” In addition, “[a]ny new development agenda must be grounded in human rights agreements that governments have already signed onto,” Puri states, adding, “The discussions to shape the post-2015 global development agenda offer a real opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights and equality” (6/17).