New York, New York (December 10, 2012)– Developed by a coalition of organizations mobilizing around the Post 2015 Development Agenda, please find below a brief working paper on thoughts and perspectives on how this agenda should be shaped.

The Post 2015 Development Agenda: What’s at Stake for the World’s Women? Perspectives from the Post 2015 Women’s Coalition (Click to download)

In 2015, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Agenda will come to an end, and with it uneven progress toward achieving the goals at its core. At this juncture, the UN System, member states and civil society organizations have begun to discuss priorities for a Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Advocacy around the Post-2015 Development Agenda presents an opportunity for women’s rights and social justice organizations to contribute to shaping a development framework that can transform the lives of women and marginalized populations. In the context of the MDGs and other processes, women’s rights and social justice organizations have sought to highlight the nexus between gender equality, women’s empowerment and development, demonstrating how progress towards equality can lead to greater social, ecological and economic justice. These linkages are now widely recognized and women’s leadership is needed as governments prepare for the Post-2015 Development Agenda to ensure that progress continues.

A number of UN processes are underway to define a road map for the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  These processes include:

  • A high-level panel of eminent persons convened by the UN Secretary General (SG) which has been formed to guide the SG and the UN in shaping the post-2015 development agenda and in preparing the debate on this topic to be held at the 2013 UN General Assembly.
  • Global Thematic consultations organized by the UN Development Group. A total of 11 thematic consultations will deal with topics identified to be of particular importance to the post-2015 discussions including: conflict and fragility; environmental sustainability; economic growth and employment; education; food security and nutrition; governance; health; inequalities; and population dynamics; water and energy.
  • National consultations in as many as 100 countries organized by the UN Development Group
  • A Post Rio+20 process led by governments, which includes an Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be appointed by the General Assembly.

Policies that will have an impact on the development possibilities of many countries are also being discussed in other UN spaces, including the 20-year reviews of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+20) and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (Beijing+20) as well as within the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as Parties negotiate a ‘post-Kyoto’ agreement.

Building on the success of the GEAR Campaign and other women’s coalition efforts around the UN, we are building a coalition of feminist, women’s rights, women’s development, grassroots and social justice organizations to monitor and engage with these processes as a political opportunity to challenge and reframe the global development agenda and address the structural factors underpinning the multiple crises we currently face, which result in deepening inequalities, increased poverty and environmental degradation.

We demand that the Post-2015 Development Agenda:

  • Be explicitly shaped by and grounded in human rights, including the principles of equality and non-discrimination.  The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (among other international human rights instruments) as well as international consensus documents, including the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights, the ICPD Programme of Action, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, provide a clear normative framework for promoting and protecting women’s human rights and addressing gender inequality. They should form the non-negotiable basis of any post-2015 development framework.
  • Place gender equality, women’s human rights and women’s empowerment at its core. The new development agenda must outline specific strategies to eliminate gender-based inequalities in all areas of concern to women, whether social development, health including sexual and reproductive health, economic development, environmental sustainability, and peace and security. Inequality must be understood and addressed from an intersectional approach, recognizing the ways in which multiple factors – including race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability – can increase and compound discrimination and marginalization.
  • Address the structural factors that perpetuate crisis, inequality, insecurity and human rights violations. In the wake of the financial crisis, which has had a disproportionate and particular impact on women, feminists and others have proposed transforming policy responses and rethinking the mainstream development model to promote greater equality, equity, security and sustainability.  To this end, a post-2015 framework must ensure that macroeconomic policies and the international financial system work to advance gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
  • Be developed with the full participation and leadership of women.  Women’s organizations and social justice groups working for gender equality, human rights and women’s empowerment should be fully supported to meaningfully engage – at all levels of consultation. Grassroots women leaders from community-based organizations are key stakeholders in the development of a Post 2015 Development Agenda and should be enabled to negotiate for their own development priorities throughout this process.
  • Ensure strong mechanisms for accountability within countries and at the international level. Accountability should be universal, holding both northern and southern governments to account for their commitments to gender equality and women’s human rights. Robust financing for development is crucial. To this end, northern countries must be accountable to their ODA commitments, allocating 0.7% of GDP to development cooperation.

We encourage women’s organizations and other supporters of women’s rights to get engaged in relevant parts of this process, nationally and regionally, as well as globally and to utilize these ideas in your advocacy.  For example, at national level, you may consider participating in national consultations on post-2015 and/or meeting with resident coordinators. At the global level, consider submitting papers for thematic consultations and participating in online discussions. For more information about these UN and civil society processes, visit

Interested in the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition? Share your contact information at this link:

Participating Organizations:

Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Baha’i International Community, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Feminist Task Force, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders – International Civil Society Action Network, Huairou Commission, International Women’s Health Coalition, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy

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