On 12 June, the Leave No One Behind Coalition, together with UN Women launched four new films that show how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—a set of 17 global goals unanimously adopted by governments worldwide—can truly transform the lives of women and girls.
The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs present a roadmap for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment over the next 13 years. The 17 “Global Goals” that are deeply interconnected, have the potential to end poverty, tackle climate change and other pressing challenges, and once and for all, close the gender gap in homes, schools, the economy and politics.
At the heart of the Global Goals is a commitment to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’. Too often, it is women and girls who are left furthest behind, with fewer opportunities to escape poverty, violence or restrictive cultural practices. Conversely, without empowering women and girls, the Global Goals cannot be achieved.
The films show that notwithstanding the barriers, women and girls are finding ways to forge ahead. In Juddy’s story, Juddy talks about overcoming her disability to become an entrepreneur. She is now a leader in her community, teaching other women how they can empower themselves and overcome poverty. Her story shows what’s possible when we tackle inequalities.
Josephine and Cecilia, made difficult decisions to flee their homes to avoid Female Genital Mutilation and early forced marriage. Josephine and Cecilia’s story shows the importance of education and tackling harmful practices. Josephine, who is now studying for a degree in law, is a role model for other girls in the community.
Tracy grew up in one of the poorest areas of Nairobi, but is a talented clarinet player. Tracy joined an orchestra, which provided her with a scholarship and opened new doors for her, showing how quality education and opportunity can transform lives.
Trapped in the informal sector, Eunice and Josephine had to leave their jobs working in the flower industry in Kenya because the chemicals used were making them ill. In the film, which focuses on economic empowerment, we witness their struggle to find work and feed their families.
The SDGs can be achieved if policies are implemented to unlock the potential of women and girls. The films are intended to raise awareness and spark dialogues in the lead-up to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2017, in New York. Governments and the international development community will come together to review SDG progress.
The Leave No One Behind Coalition is urging governments to put the women and girls who are furthest behind first, to make sure that they have the same life chances as everyone else.