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Adolescent boys and young men: engaging them as supporters of gender equality and health and understanding their vulnerabilities

Published by: UNFPA


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Achieving gender equality must, and has, involved efforts to understand the vulnerabilities and risks that adolescent girls and young women face every day – but how much do we know about the realities of adolescent boys and young men? This report takes a deeper look at the daily lives of adolescent boys and young men around the world and at how they can join the movement towards improved health and gender equality. Exploring global research, the report reveals boys’ and young men’s specific risks and realities in relation to health in general, sexual and reproductive health in particular, sexuality, media violence, sexual exploitation and other vulnerabilities. It analyses the implications of these risks and realities not only for boys, but also on the lives of women and girls.

Adolescence is a key period where individuals of all gender identities form attitudes, opinions and beliefs – about themselves, about their sexuality and about their place in the world. It is a period when ideas about equality can become ingrained. The study emphasizes that a holistic approach to advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health must include both adolescent girls and boys. It highlights the need to engage adolescent boys and young men as allies to achieve gender equality and as supporters of women’s empowerment, as well as the importance of addressing the specific health and social development needs of boys themselves.

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General Information

SDGs Goal 3: Good health and well-being Goal 4: Quality education Goal 5: Gender equality Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Published
2016
Thematic Area
Gender equality
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Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

Since the creation of the Millennium Development Goals there have been historic achievements in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and tackling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. In 15 years, the number of people newly infected by HIV each year has dropped from 3.1 million to 2 million and over 6.2 million lives were saved from malaria. Since 1990, maternal mortality fell by 45 percent, and worldwide there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally.  

Despite this incredible progress, AIDS is the leading cause of death among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, and 22 million people living with HIV are not accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy. New HIV infections continue to rise in some locations and in populations that are typically excluded or marginalised.

Chronic and catastrophic disease remains one of the main factors that push households from poverty into deprivation. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) impose a large burden on human health worldwide. Currently, 63% of all deaths worldwide stem from NCDs – chiefly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. The cumulative economic losses to low- and middle-income countries from the four diseases are estimated to surpass US$ 7 trillion by 2025. Additionally, there continues to be underinvestment in the social circumstances and environmental factors affecting health. The job on HIV and health is far from done.

Recognizing the interdependence of health and development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an ambitious, comprehensive plan of action for people, planet and prosperity and for ending the injustices that underpin poor health and development outcomes.

SDG 3 aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. It also aims to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well as expanding access to affordable medicines.

Promoting health and well-being is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 3.

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Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

Since the creation of the Millennium Development Goals there have been historic achievements in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and tackling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. In 15 years, the number of people newly infected by HIV each year has dropped from 3.1 million to 2 million and over 6.2 million lives were saved from malaria. Since 1990, maternal mortality fell by 45 percent, and worldwide there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally.  

Despite this incredible progress, AIDS is the leading cause of death among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, and 22 million people living with HIV are not accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy. New HIV infections continue to rise in some locations and in populations that are typically excluded or marginalised.

Chronic and catastrophic disease remains one of the main factors that push households from poverty into deprivation. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) impose a large burden on human health worldwide. Currently, 63% of all deaths worldwide stem from NCDs – chiefly cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. The cumulative economic losses to low- and middle-income countries from the four diseases are estimated to surpass US$ 7 trillion by 2025. Additionally, there continues to be underinvestment in the social circumstances and environmental factors affecting health. The job on HIV and health is far from done.

Recognizing the interdependence of health and development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an ambitious, comprehensive plan of action for people, planet and prosperity and for ending the injustices that underpin poor health and development outcomes.

SDG 3 aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. It also aims to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well as expanding access to affordable medicines.

Promoting health and well-being is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 3.

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The SDG Fund response

By incorporating health services and health specialists, the SDG Fund programmes tackle the health challenges and opportunities underlying intersectoral interventions. In addition, the SDG Fund, particularly through the work of the World Health Organization, promotes positive changes in national and local health policies.

For example,

  • In Guatemala, the SDG Fund programme is addressing the health damages produced by aflatoxin contamination in corn. A risk analysis report is determining the prevalence and damage to health and a pilot is being tested to be expanded to other regions in the country.
  • In Paraguay, the SDG Fund is working with the health system as part of a cross-sector approach for indigenous and vulnerable rural households, particularly female headed families, to produce nutritious and diversified food production. Health personnel is being trained on new monitoring systems to track health and nutrition status.
  • In Sri Lanka, the joint programme is addressing food insecurity by closely aligning with national policies and using national surveys for more efficient and effective investments in food security and nutrition by highlighting the gaps, opportunities and impact of current initiatives. For example, the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) includes a detailed assessment of nutrition for children under 5 and a manual on health and nutrition for preschool is being developed to improve nutrition in schools.
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The SDG Fund response

By incorporating health services and health specialists, the SDG Fund programmes tackle the health challenges and opportunities underlying intersectoral interventions. In addition, the SDG Fund, particularly through the work of the World Health Organization, promotes positive changes in national and local health policies.

For example,

  • In Guatemala, the SDG Fund programme is addressing the health damages produced by aflatoxin contamination in corn. A risk analysis report is determining the prevalence and damage to health and a pilot is being tested to be expanded to other regions in the country.
  • In Paraguay, the SDG Fund is working with the health system as part of a cross-sector approach for indigenous and vulnerable rural households, particularly female headed families, to produce nutritious and diversified food production. Health personnel is being trained on new monitoring systems to track health and nutrition status.
  • In Sri Lanka, the joint programme is addressing food insecurity by closely aligning with national policies and using national surveys for more efficient and effective investments in food security and nutrition by highlighting the gaps, opportunities and impact of current initiatives. For example, the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) includes a detailed assessment of nutrition for children under 5 and a manual on health and nutrition for preschool is being developed to improve nutrition in schools.
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  • By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
  • By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
  • By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
  • Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
  • By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
  • By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
  • Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
  • By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
  • Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate
  • Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and noncommunicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all
  • Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States
  • Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
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  • By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
  • By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
  • By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
  • By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
  • Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
  • By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
  • By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
  • Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
  • By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
  • Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate
  • Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and noncommunicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all
  • Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States
  • Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
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Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half.

There has also been a dramatic increase in literacy rates, and many more girls are in school than ever before. These are all remarkable successes.

Progress has also faced tough challenges in developing regions due to high levels of poverty, armed conflicts and other emergencies. In Western Asia and North Africa, ongoing armed conflict has seen an increase in the proportion of children out of school. This is a worrying trend.

While sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest progress in primary school enrolment among all developing regions – from 52 percent in 1990, up to 78 percent in 2012 – large disparities still remain. Children from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.

Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, and to eliminate gender and wealth disparities with the aim of achieving universal access to a quality higher education.

Quality education is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half.

There has also been a dramatic increase in literacy rates, and many more girls are in school than ever before. These are all remarkable successes.

Progress has also faced tough challenges in developing regions due to high levels of poverty, armed conflicts and other emergencies. In Western Asia and North Africa, ongoing armed conflict has seen an increase in the proportion of children out of school. This is a worrying trend.

While sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest progress in primary school enrolment among all developing regions – from 52 percent in 1990, up to 78 percent in 2012 – large disparities still remain. Children from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.

Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, and to eliminate gender and wealth disparities with the aim of achieving universal access to a quality higher education.

Quality education is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

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 The SDG Fund response

By promoting digital education, in collaboration with the  ProFuturo project the SDG Fund is convening partnerships between UN Agencies, governments and the telecommunications industry to better use information technologies to advance SDG4. Affordable, reliable and context-sensitive digital education, can promote equal opportunities for girls and boys and reduce inequalities by ensuring every child has access to high quality content. Digital education technologies improves fundamental skills such as collaboration, problem solving and global awareness. It can easily connect boys and girls from different parts of the world with the possibility of sharing their content with peers living kilometres away. Equally important, learning technology can open future job opportunities.

Education is also central to the SDG Fund programmes to promote gender equality, improve nutrition and create livelihoods opportunities.

For example,

  • In Colombia, the SDG Fund is to improve integration of educational institutions in rural areas through trainings, workshops and a water-themed contest. Despite being designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, deforestation coupled with the emergence of illicit crops and deregulated agricultural borders of indigenous rural communities have deteriorated the mountainous region and put water resources under pressure. 
  • In Mozambique, an SDG Fund joint programme is improving youth access to quality professional training. Young women and men in remote areas are increasing their prospects to find decent job opportunities within the extractive industries that often hire people from other parts of the country or from abroad.
  • In Sri Lanka, school feeding policies have been revised and new guidelines have been produced to improve the food quality of school canteens.  Manuals, informative fliers and other technical material is being produced together with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs.
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

 The SDG Fund response

By promoting digital education, in collaboration with the  ProFuturo project the SDG Fund is convening partnerships between UN Agencies, governments and the telecommunications industry to better use information technologies to advance SDG4. Affordable, reliable and context-sensitive digital education, can promote equal opportunities for girls and boys and reduce inequalities by ensuring every child has access to high quality content. Digital education technologies improves fundamental skills such as collaboration, problem solving and global awareness. It can easily connect boys and girls from different parts of the world with the possibility of sharing their content with peers living kilometres away. Equally important, learning technology can open future job opportunities.

Education is also central to the SDG Fund programmes to promote gender equality, improve nutrition and create livelihoods opportunities.

For example,

  • In Colombia, the SDG Fund is to improve integration of educational institutions in rural areas through trainings, workshops and a water-themed contest. Despite being designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, deforestation coupled with the emergence of illicit crops and deregulated agricultural borders of indigenous rural communities have deteriorated the mountainous region and put water resources under pressure. 
  • In Mozambique, an SDG Fund joint programme is improving youth access to quality professional training. Young women and men in remote areas are increasing their prospects to find decent job opportunities within the extractive industries that often hire people from other parts of the country or from abroad.
  • In Sri Lanka, school feeding policies have been revised and new guidelines have been produced to improve the food quality of school canteens.  Manuals, informative fliers and other technical material is being produced together with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs.
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  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education
  • By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
  • By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
  • By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
  • By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
  • By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
  • Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, nonviolent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
  • By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
  • By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education
  • By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
  • By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
  • By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
  • By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
  • By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
  • Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, nonviolent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
  • By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
  • By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states
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Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.

Since 2000, UNDP together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community has made gender equality central to our work, and we have seen some remarkable successes. More girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education. Women now make up to 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, compared to 35 percent in 1990.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labour market. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision making, all remain huge barriers.

Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property, are vital targets to realizing this goal. There are now more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders across all regions will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.

Gender equality is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

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Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.

Since 2000, UNDP together with our UN partners and the rest of the global community has made gender equality central to our work, and we have seen some remarkable successes. More girls are now in school compared to 15 years ago, and most regions have reached gender parity in primary education. Women now make up to 41 percent of paid workers outside of agriculture, compared to 35 percent in 1990.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to build on these achievements to ensure that there is an end to discrimination against women and girls everywhere. There are still gross inequalities in access to paid employment in some regions, and significant gaps between men and women in the labour market. Sexual violence and exploitation, the unequal division of unpaid care and domestic work, and discrimination in public decision making, all remain huge barriers.

Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, and affording women equal rights to economic resources such as land and property, are vital targets to realizing this goal. There are now more women in public office than ever before, but encouraging more women leaders across all regions will help strengthen policies and legislation for greater gender equality.

Gender equality is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund has placed gender equality and women’s empowerment at the heart of its efforts to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. By directly empowering women and by bringing a gender perspective to all development work, we can build a more equitable, sustainable future for all. All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans.

For example,

  • In Bangladesh, the labor force participation of rural women is only 36.4% compared to 83.3% of men. Creating employment and income generating opportunities for women and enhancing their access to social protection will help reduce gender disparities.
  • In Ethiopia, rural women lag behind in access to land property, economic opportunities, justice system and financial assets. Women farmers perform up to 75% of farm labor but hold only 18.7% of agricultural land in the country. The SDG Fund is using a multifaceted approach to generate gender-sensitive agricultural extension services, support the creation of cooperatives, promote the expansion of women-owned agribusiness and increase rural women’s participation in rural producer associations, financial cooperatives and unions.
  • In the occupied Palestinian territory, the SDG Fund joint programme is helping to improve the livelihoods of Palestinian women. The programme is building the capacities of women-owned and run MSMEs and cooperatives, preserving cultural and agricultural products, and turning them into marketable and exportable products. In addition, the programme is protecting local production and establish incentives for women cooperatives. 
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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund has placed gender equality and women’s empowerment at the heart of its efforts to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. By directly empowering women and by bringing a gender perspective to all development work, we can build a more equitable, sustainable future for all. All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans.

For example,

  • In Bangladesh, the labor force participation of rural women is only 36.4% compared to 83.3% of men. Creating employment and income generating opportunities for women and enhancing their access to social protection will help reduce gender disparities.
  • In Ethiopia, rural women lag behind in access to land property, economic opportunities, justice system and financial assets. Women farmers perform up to 75% of farm labor but hold only 18.7% of agricultural land in the country. The SDG Fund is using a multifaceted approach to generate gender-sensitive agricultural extension services, support the creation of cooperatives, promote the expansion of women-owned agribusiness and increase rural women’s participation in rural producer associations, financial cooperatives and unions.
  • In the occupied Palestinian territory, the SDG Fund joint programme is helping to improve the livelihoods of Palestinian women. The programme is building the capacities of women-owned and run MSMEs and cooperatives, preserving cultural and agricultural products, and turning them into marketable and exportable products. In addition, the programme is protecting local production and establish incentives for women cooperatives. 
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  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
  • Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
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  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
  • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
  • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life
  • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences
  • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
  • Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
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Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law are important conduits for sustainable development. We are living in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.

High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long standing grievances among communities that can last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those who are most at risk.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. Strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.

Promoting peace and justice is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 16.

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Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law are important conduits for sustainable development. We are living in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.

High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long standing grievances among communities that can last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those who are most at risk.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. Strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.

Promoting peace and justice is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 16.

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The SDG Fund response

The 2030 Agenda requires a greater involvement among governments, civil society, private sector and international organizations to build more peaceful and inclusive just societies. Peace also brings new business opportunities by increasing stability, improving economic prospects and by building social and economic fabric in a community.

For example,

  • The armed conflict in Colombia has damaged production, institutions, food security, and social trust. Through the sustainable agricultural production of indigenous crops and their international commercialization, the SDG-F will create employment, better nutrition, and, most importantly, peace in Cauca - one of the zones most affected by the long lasting conflict.
  • In Sierra Leone, the SDG Fund is working for improved accountability and transparency in natural resource governance. This will contribute to promoting peace in the mining communities of the project and help to generate income that will be reinvested in the development of the communities.
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The SDG Fund response

The 2030 Agenda requires a greater involvement among governments, civil society, private sector and international organizations to build more peaceful and inclusive just societies. Peace also brings new business opportunities by increasing stability, improving economic prospects and by building social and economic fabric in a community.

For example,

  • The armed conflict in Colombia has damaged production, institutions, food security, and social trust. Through the sustainable agricultural production of indigenous crops and their international commercialization, the SDG-F will create employment, better nutrition, and, most importantly, peace in Cauca - one of the zones most affected by the long lasting conflict.
  • In Sierra Leone, the SDG Fund is working for improved accountability and transparency in natural resource governance. This will contribute to promoting peace in the mining communities of the project and help to generate income that will be reinvested in the development of the communities.
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  • Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  • Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
  • Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
  • By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
  • Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
  • Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
  • Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
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  • Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
  • End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  • Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
  • Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
  • By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
  • Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
  • Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
  • Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
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Mainstreaming gender into joint programmes

All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans. It uses the experience of MDG-F joint programmes that suggests a number of ways to mainstream gender approaches.

The MDG-F’s Knowledge Management Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, led by UNDP’s Gender Unit, recommended to take into account the following criteria for designing gender-sensitive programmes:

  • Has the project/programme included gender analysis in its design, implementation, and management?
  • Does the project/programme include specific, measurable outcomes, outputs, activities and indicators related to gender equality and women’s empowerment?
  • Does the project/programme include age and sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics for the project/programme development and implementation?
  • Has the project/programme facilitated participatory processes that involve women equitably, and included their needs and contributions in all the steps of the project and/or programme cycle?
  • Have gender experts been involved in all steps of the project or programme cycle?
  • Have all the projects been rated with the Gender Marker?
  • Have a proportion of core and non-core funds been clearly indicated for gender equality and/or the empowerment of women?
  • Have all possible steps been taken to ensure gender parity in the recruitment of project staff, consultants, and/or vendors?

All our programmes have been asked to answer these questions when designing, implementing, and monitoring our programmes.

For further information, see:

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Mainstreaming gender into joint programmes

All SDG Fund programmes mainstream gender into their implementation and monitoring plans. It uses the experience of MDG-F joint programmes that suggests a number of ways to mainstream gender approaches.

The MDG-F’s Knowledge Management Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, led by UNDP’s Gender Unit, recommended to take into account the following criteria for designing gender-sensitive programmes:

  • Has the project/programme included gender analysis in its design, implementation, and management?
  • Does the project/programme include specific, measurable outcomes, outputs, activities and indicators related to gender equality and women’s empowerment?
  • Does the project/programme include age and sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics for the project/programme development and implementation?
  • Has the project/programme facilitated participatory processes that involve women equitably, and included their needs and contributions in all the steps of the project and/or programme cycle?
  • Have gender experts been involved in all steps of the project or programme cycle?
  • Have all the projects been rated with the Gender Marker?
  • Have a proportion of core and non-core funds been clearly indicated for gender equality and/or the empowerment of women?
  • Have all possible steps been taken to ensure gender parity in the recruitment of project staff, consultants, and/or vendors?

All our programmes have been asked to answer these questions when designing, implementing, and monitoring our programmes.

For further information, see:

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Understanding how women and men, girls and boys, are affected by poverty

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Understanding how women and men, girls and boys, are affected by poverty

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This report takes a deeper look at the daily lives of adolescent boys and young men around the world and at how they can join the movement towards improved health and gender equality. Exploring global research, the report reveals boys’ and young men’s specific risks and realities in relation to health in general, sexual and reproductive health in particular, sexuality, media violence, sexual exploitation and other vulnerabilities. It analyses the implications of these risks and realities not only for boys, but also on the lives of women and girls. Adolescence is a key period where individuals of all gender identities form attitudes, opinions and beliefs – about themselves, about their sexuality and about their place in the world. It is a period when ideas about equality can become ingrained. The study emphasizes that a holistic approach to advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health must include both adolescent girls and boys. It highlights the need to engage adolescent boys and young men as allies to achieve gender equality and as supporters of women’s empowerment, as well as the importance of addressing the specific health and social development needs of boys themselves. [format] => [safe_value] => Achieving gender equality must, and has, involved efforts to understand the vulnerabilities and risks that adolescent girls and young women face every day – but how much do we know about the realities of adolescent boys and young men? This report takes a deeper look at the daily lives of adolescent boys and young men around the world and at how they can join the movement towards improved health and gender equality. Exploring global research, the report reveals boys’ and young men’s specific risks and realities in relation to health in general, sexual and reproductive health in particular, sexuality, media violence, sexual exploitation and other vulnerabilities. It analyses the implications of these risks and realities not only for boys, but also on the lives of women and girls. Adolescence is a key period where individuals of all gender identities form attitudes, opinions and beliefs – about themselves, about their sexuality and about their place in the world. It is a period when ideas about equality can become ingrained. The study emphasizes that a holistic approach to advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health must include both adolescent girls and boys. 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