[Excerpt] The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development places gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the heart of its implementation with its promise to “leave no one behind”. It provides an unprecedented opportunity to transform the lives of women and girls and to catalyse progress towards sustainable development in all dimensions: economic, social and environmental. With its universal and transformative mandate, the 2030 Agenda outlines a set of 17 integrated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets to achieve our common aspiration for a more equitable and inclusive world.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2016, in which the two organizations pledged to strengthen their partnership and cooperation to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Asia and the Pacific. In this spirit, Gender Equality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia and the Pacific: Baseline and Pathways for Transformative Change by 2030 is a joint undertaking by ADB and the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. It reflects the high-level commitment of both organizations to supporting national efforts and regional cooperation to accelerate progress towards gender equality and gender-responsive implementation of the SDGs.
As countries have embarked on this collective journey, this publication provides the first assessment of the current situation of women and girls in the region, based on available and comparable data from official national and international sources. It establishes a baseline for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards gender equality commitments in the SDGs, which are captured in the stand-alone SDG 5 and as a cross-cutting priority across all SDGs. The report identifies data gaps and underscores the necessity of heightened urgency to improve production and use of gender statistics for evidence-based SDG localization. It also provides valuable insight into key catalysts and policy recommendations to assist countries to achieve gender equality by 2030. The key to success lies in coherent and coordinated efforts to harness the synergies between achieving gender equality and realising all of the SDGs.
Gender equality must be addressed in its own right and as a catalyst of progress across the SDGs. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for integrated responses to the social, economic and environmental challenges facing us today. This means going beyond conventional approaches to development, leveraging effective cross-sectoral partnerships and new financing models, and harnessing innovative technology that will bring about concrete changes to the lives of women and girls. Overcoming deeply entrenched gender inequality would transform the world, empowering everyone to realise their full potential and live a life of dignity. This publication provides invaluab effort to make gender equality and sustainable development a reality for all.