Browse by Theme: Advocacy

The real challenge for the new Sustainable Development Goals is what happens after they are agreed. Deciding on the goals and targets is only the first step; backing them up with the commitment to implement them is crucial. The emerging consensus between the private sector, civil society, governments and multilateral agencies on the need for progress on economically empowering women is a positive sign. But how can business help make this ambition a reality?

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A ground-breaking piece of development progress was marked last month when the World Bank updated its financial inclusion database and revealed that in the last three years alone, the number of people worldwide who have an account grew by 700 million, bringing the number of unbanked individuals down to 2 billion. The speed and scale of progress is staggering.

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This year, world leaders are set to renegotiate global commitments on poverty, climate change and development financing. At the same time, the United Nations has commissioned major reviews of UN efforts on humanitarian coordination, peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations. It is therefore timely, but unfortunate and symptomatic, that the 15th anniversary review of UN commitments to protect and empower women in times of conflict is also happening in 2015, but in a silo from those wider reforms.

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Goal 16 in the Sustainable Development Goals is one of the poor relations in the mix. Both more complex and contentious than many of the proposed 17, it seeks to secure peaceful and open societies as a global target, and is vital. However, to be truly transformational, and to have a chance of surviving the negotiations in 2015, gender has to be a core part of its formulation.

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Every year, hundreds of women’s rights activists come to New York to lobby governments in the United Nations on gender equality during the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). This year, CARE International has partnered with UN Women and the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat to convene a workshop during CSW to consult activists from countries torn apart by war and natural disasters on how to better protect and empower women and girls in times of crisis.

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Eight months coordinating an All Party Parliamentary Group has given me a unique opportunity to see democracy in action. According to Ken Livingstone I should be concerned, but I’ve been left feeling both encouraged and energised.

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Over the past few months, I have been scoping out the potential for CARE to engage more strategically with the African Union and civil society at continental level. For me, it’s clear that we can and should do more – detail to be discussed in the coming weeks – but for now, I’m writing from Addis Ababa during the closing days of the 24th AU Summit...

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