Global Resources

Gender goals, targets and indicators for sustainable development: problems and opportunities

Author: K. Lanz
Publisher: Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies
Publication Date: Jan 2013
While ground-breaking in their scope and ambition, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have also sparked controversy, not least in the choice of goals, targets, and indicators. This policy brief, produced by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies, applies a critical look at the MDGs from a gender perspective to highlight why gender equality needs to be a crucial part of the new post-2015 framework.

Aimed at policy makers, lobby groups, and development practitioners, the review examines what needs to be considered when devising goals, targets, and indicators for any new framework. An extensive literature review forms the basis for the first section of the brief, outlining how gender equality has been included in the MDGs, and which indicators were used to measure progress. Also included are major limitations and shortcomings of the MDG approach.

Following this, the current discussions regarding a post-MDG framework are summarised. The authors align themselves with the opinion of major international institutions (i.e. UN Women) that both a stand-alone goal and framework-wide mainstreaming of gender equality are required.

Finally, examples of some currently discussed topics for the post-2015 agenda are used to emphasise the importance of gender equality, and some possible gender indicators are suggested. In this regard, the authors recommend targeting the root causes of gender inequality through the rethinking of economic growth, the prioritisation of human rights and accountability, a focus on generating adequate levels of data, and the mainstreaming of important gendered issues such as unpaid care provision, violence against women, and political and civic participation.