Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, made an intervention to the UN’s 8th Session of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development goals on “promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality, and women’s empowerment”.
The Archbishops’ statement strengthens efforts towards a new post-2015 development agenda promoting the equal dignity of women and men.
For CIDSE, promoting women’s rights and gender equality is a pre-requisite for poverty alleviation, human development, human well-being, justice and dignity. As the Holy See’s statement said, this requires a “truly rights-based approach to women’s equality [that] demands that societies and their institutions remove unjust social and economic barriers that interject a false dichotomy between the relationships than enhance their lives and their participation and gains across other human rights”.
As affirmed by the Holy See statement, a future development framework must address the structural causes of inequality between and within peoples. CIDSE’s submission to the Open Working Group’s sixth session in December stressed that among other human rights principles, equality should be mainstreamed across the implementation of a future set of Sustainable Development Goals and their monitoring. “Measures to eliminate inequality within the Sustainable Development framework must ensure that every member of the human family partakes in the benefits of international development,” said the Holy See statement delivered by Archbishop Chullikatt.
The variety of human rights violations and discrimination against women presents a strong case for both mainstreaming gender throughout each of the Sustainable Development goals as well as the establishment of a self-standing goal on gender equality that addresses ending violence against women and girls, the inclusion of women at decision-making level, and the promotion of women’s and girls’ education and knowledge for equal access to resources.
“As stated by Archbishop Chullikatt, a post-2015 development framework needs a universal approach that omits no one. But it also needs states and societies making the vision reality by putting the imperative to respect and uphold human dignity and particularly the dignity of women and girls ahead of other considerations. Improving their lot is key to fight poverty and for the social transformation we need,” said CIDSE Secretary General Bernd Nilles.