Our priorities

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development will not be achieved if half of the population is left behind. Girls and young women must be central to implementation efforts and empowered as agents of change.

You can explore our priorities for the conference in our CSW61 Position Paper which was submitted to UN Women, as secretariat for the Commission, in October 2016. As with all of our work related to the new Sustainable Development Goals it is based on the voices of girls and young women as brought together in the World We Want for Girls Beyond 2015 Policy Paper.


"I don’t want a perfect world, just an ideal one. Maybe I want a world where girls can be themselves. They can be who they are; they can stand up and speak out. If that happens we can have a good world."

Focus group participant, the Philippines - World We Want for Girls Beyond 2015 Policy Paper

We are celebrating the agreement of the 2030 Agenda and the potential it represents for transformative change in the lives of girls and women. This is still a moment for joy and hope. However, the challenge now lies in implementing the ambitious 2030 Agenda – in translating the aspirational rhetoric of the Sustainable Development Goals into real progress, particularly in the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Our recommendations to deliver real change for girls and young women include:

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Investing in girls

Today, fewer than two cents of every international development dollar goes to girls. Governments must ensure adequate financial commitments are made to programmes that address girls’ needs, either through domestic resources and/or official development assistance. International development agencies must similarly commit more substantial levels of resources to specialized programmes aimed at girls and young women. 

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Combat discriminatory norms & practices, especially violence against women & girls

Recognition of the role of discriminatory laws, beliefs and practices in driving gender inequalities was sorely lacking in the MDGs, therefore it is critical within the 2030 Agenda that national governments and development agencies commit to reforming the cultural and institutional practices that systematically disadvantage and harm girls and women. Particular attention must be paid to the continuing global pandemic of violence against women and girls. 

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Build the capacity of girls & young women to participate in and drive change

Girls and young women must be considered more than just the objects or beneficiaries of the new development agenda – they must be the agents of change. For this to happen, it will be essential to adopt a rights-based approach to development in which girls and young women are educated - through formal and non-formal curricula - about the enactment of the Agenda, and their rights and entitlements, substantively involved in design and implementation and empowered to advocate for change.

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