The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are of course not everything we wanted; they are after all the outcome of tortured negotiations among nearly two hundred governments many of whom have highly dubious views towards gender equality and human rights. That said, the document just agreed by the UN General Assembly this month1 is certainly an improvement on the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and a lot better than many of us feared. Glimpses of concern about inequality – or at least a desire to ‘leave no one behind’ - suggest some progress in the last 15 years and there have been positive developments in many areas. Specifically on gender equality, there is also some movement in the right direction. While the agreement of this document changes nothing today, it does provide us with some valuable rhetoric with which to hold governments to account tomorrow and in the decades to come.
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