Sustainable development goals are pointless unless violence against women & girls is eradicated

Sustainable development goals are pointless unless violence against women & girls is eradicated

Unless violence against women and girls is completely eradicated, at least 14 of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be achieved, according to a new report by The Equality Institute (EQI) out this week.

The report draws on the latest evidence to present key recommendations to help support governments and development partners across the globe.  

Violence prevention experts at EQI are calling for renewed global attention on the intersection between violence against women and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Their callout is part of the annual 16 Days of Activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence. 

This year, the “Orange the world: End violence against women now!” campaign runs from November 25 to 10 December, when gender equality advocates will be calling for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. 

Dr Emma Fulu, founder and Executive Director of EQI, said the SDGs include a specific target on the elimination of violence against women and girls — but it is not just about that one target.

“Unless we end violence against women and girls we cannot achieve many of the other goals,” she said. “Conversely, ending this abuse will have a multitude of positive outcomes for sustainable development as a whole.” 

“Violence against women is an issue that cuts across the SDGs. Preventing violence against women and girls is one of the most effective ways to achieve multiple positive outcomes and ensure a safe and sustainable future for all.”

The SDGs describe the targets in 17 priority areas for an equal and sustainable future for women. 

At the end of 2021, EQI hope that the 7-year halfway point will be reached between the setting of these goals in 2015 and the 2030 deadline.  

Violence against women and girls has been linked to poverty, maternal death, hunger, poor health and education, climate change adaptation, energy and environmental burdens, societal insecurity and economic hardships. 

The Equality Institute, a global feminist agency working to end violence against women and girls, aims to advance gender equality and support violence prevention efforts through research and global leadership.  

Fulu, who was one of Women’s Agenda’s “Agenda Setter of the Year” nominees in 2021, has grown the organisation to work in over 20 countries across every region in the world.

Most recently she has been working with over 500 academics and practitioners to establish a global research agenda and accelerate funding for violence prevention by $500 million by 2030. 

Locally, she is working with the Victorian government to train over 300 entities in support of the new Gender Equality Act.

Last week, Fulu said violence against women has for too long been seen as “a women’s issue”.

“It has been framed as an issue for victims to to solve, and in many cases, for victims to prove their own victimisation, all the time against the backdrop of a culture of silencing, blaming, minimising and trivialising our experiences,” she told SBS.

“This is not about blame, this is about meaningful change. We are never going to succeed in ending violence against women until we address the drivers of perpetration, not just the drivers of victimisation.”

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