Development Goals in Danger of Failing because of Missing Essentials on Post-2015 List

September 20, 2013

September 20, New York: A group of charities and campaign groups today challenged political leaders saying that if they failed to put women and girls’ empowerment, maternal health, gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights at the heart of the next generation of Millennium Development Goals, then the post-2015 framework is doomed to failure.

The stark warning came as Member States gather in New York for the United National General Assembly (UNGA) to discuss progress on Post-2015.

The group which includes ActionAid, White Ribbon Alliance, Womankind Worldwide and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) outlined the impact of the epidemic of violence against women and girls. IPPF Director General IPPF’s Director General, Tewodros Melesse, said: “

“Unless the link between sexual and reproductive health and rights, social inequalities, and gender inequality is recognized – the new framework will not tackle the root causes of poverty and we will not live in a world truly free from it.  A standalone goal on gender equality and strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights will offer the chance to secure a world of justice, choice and well-being for all.”

While we have seen promise in the Secretary- General’s report, there is still so much missing from the Post-2015 list.

Violence against women is not only an attack on them – it’s an attack on their self-esteem, life chances, economic opportunity and development.”

In Colombia, a woman is killed by a current or former partner every six days. In Amhara, Ethiopia, 50% of girls are married by the time they are 15 years old.

Meeting all unmet needs for modern methods would reduce the number of pregnancy-related deaths by 79,000. Of these deaths, 48,000 would be prevented in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN Secretary-General’s report on post Millennium Development Goals framework needs more to create a just, equal and sustainable world where gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights are fully recognized says coalition. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), ActionAid UKWomankind Worldwide and White Ribbon Alliance are urging Member States to make a stand before it’s too late.

Betsy McCallon, Executive Director, White Ribbon Alliance said: “We know that healthy mothers make a healthy world. Yet the poorest women in the world are denied access to life saving health care and childbirth remains one of the biggest killers of young women in many countries.  Clear targets must be agreed by world leaders. We fully support an explicit goal on gender and equality.

ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir said: “Drastic cuts in public services and growing privatisation of health sectors have made access to healthcare facilities precarious and sometimes non-affordable, especially for the poor but also for people in general. For poor and marginalised women the realities are worse. It denies women of healthcare, sexual and reproductive health services as well as medicare for their children. The frontline countries in the UN should demand for investment in public healthcare ensuring access and affordability for the poor and marginalised community, especially women and children”.

Susana Klien, Interim CEO, Womankind Worldwide, said:  “Issues such as violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and economic empowerment cannot be seen in isolation. Therefore it is vital that the post-2015 development framework is built upon a holistic and transformative women’s rights based approach which draws links between the multiple causes and consequences of female poverty andgender inequality.

“This opportunity to recognise women’s rights and to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as prerequisites for sustainable development must not be missed.”


For more information and interview requests, please contact: IPPF: Tia Jeewa [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

Representatives of Member States will attend UNGA between 22-27th- September to evaluate progress, discuss priorities and influence the United Nation’s Secretary –General’s Post-2015 report.



Founded in 1952, The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is both a service provider and an advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The organization is a worldwide network of 152 Member Associations active in more than 170 countries.  Learn more at

White Ribbon Alliance:

White Ribbon Alliance is a global network of maternal health advocates campaigning for more resources and the right policies to prevent the deaths of women in pregnancy and childbirth, while holding governments and politicians to account for their promises of action.


ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty. We believe people in poverty have the power within them to create change for themselves, their families and communities. ActionAid is a catalyst for that change.





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