A blog by Pat Black
Lead image courtesy of : UN Women/Ryan Brown
UN Women flagship event 15 March – Leaving No One Behind for Planet 50-50 by 2030: every rural woman and girl everywhere
“UN Women partnered with an extensive group of civil society organisations on Thursday, to hold an innovative flagship event enabling and empowering women from across all rural areas and all parts of the globe to have a voice. More importantly it was entitled ‘Leaving No One Behind’, the slogan for the implementation of the SDGs.
Over 400 participants sat at round tables to listen and contribute their experiences from across the diversity of women in rural locations, who were feeling at this point well and truly left behind. The list regrettably is long: Widows, LGBTI, Indigenous, disability, migrant/refugees and of course these are not in themselves homogenous groups.
A great deal was said about intersectionality – recognising that individuals cannot be categorised with simple language. Everyone faces a complexity of challenges, but most especially those who are the weakest, the most vulnerable across all societies.
Although we listened to the voices and personal stories of many speakers, we were asked around our tables to look for positive recommendations for action. We all know what the challenges are but what can actually be done to move people out of poverty, to provide access to education, to offer facilities to ensure a healthy community? What do we need to do to bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality?
Answers came from 30 tables, some overlapping, many offering different solutions. It was clear there is a lot of frustration and feelings of powerlessness, as well as anger. Never was it more clear that #TheTimeIsNow.
The women in the room (and a few men) were determined that change must come – they are fed up waiting. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Executive Director of UN Women has been clear all week repeatedly saying ‘The world has reached a tipping point’.
The final challenge of the day was more personal. What are we as activists and individuals going to do to make sure No One is left behind? We must continue to raise our voices, to make sure our organisations are strong and working toward achieving the 2030 Agenda but most of all as individuals we must ensure we change the world for at least one woman, one girl”.
Images courtesy of UN Women