United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Meeting of the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals United Nations - New York –
5-9 May 2014

Focus area 5 - Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Intervention by Portugal

Portugal strongly welcomes the important work made by this Open Working Group on SDGs and would like to commend the Co-chairs for their key role in this process, namely the excellent work on Focus Area 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment. We will continue to support our leadership role in this process. Portugal also fully aligns itself with the statement made yesterday by the European Union.

As work continues on the definition of goals and targets, we believe that an important basis for future discussions on gender equality should be the Agreed Conclusions of the 58th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, as noted by several others today.

As called by this Commission, besides the establishment of a standalone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women, it is also important that gender equality will be integrated through targets and indicators into all goals of the post 2015 framework, in a comprehensive manner. This should include the comprehensive integration of gender equality targets and indicators across the new framework, and the systematic disaggregation of data by sex.

Indicators should be based on those already agreed by the UN Statistical Commission, namely concerning gender equality indicators and indicators to measure violence against women and girls. Robust targets and indicators will be essential to track the effective implementation of commitments to gender equality.

Upon analysis of the working document proposed, we suggest the following alterations of focus area 5:

Focus Area 5 – gender equality and women’s empowerment
We strongly support target a) but would like to see girls added (so ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls of all ages – as Austria just proposed).

We also strongly support target b) on ending of violence against women and girls in all its forms.

In the context of the last CSW, Portugal has called for the establishment of a stand-alone goal on eradication of all form of violence against women. The discussion has meanwhile evolved towards the rationalisation of focus areas and targets. However, Portugal considers that this will have to be addressed as a target.

On target d) we suggest referring to the agreed language of the CSW58: “by 2030 ensure equal decent employment opportunities for women, including equal rights at work and equal pay for equal work or work of equal value”.

In target e) we prefer the agreed language from the CSW58 Agreed Conclusions and would suggest re-wording as follows: “by 2030 ensure equal access to, control and ownership of, assets and resources, including natural resources management and equal access to markets, justice systems and financial services”.

Target f), where we would ask the Co-Chairs to use the CSW wording: “ensure full, equal and effective representation, participation and leadership of women at all levels and in all fields of decision-making in the public and private spheres”.

On target g) we suggest following wording: “by 2030 end harmful practices against women and girls, especially child, early and forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and honour crimes”.

On target j) we suggest the following wording: “ensure the availability of sex disaggregated data to improve gender equality policies, including gender responsive budgeting”

We suggest adding an additional target in this Focus Area on: “Fully engage men and boys in efforts to promote and achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls“ – an issue also raised by several speakers today.

We are also in favour a better gender mainstreaming in all focus areas:

Concerning Focus Area 1 – Poverty eradication
On target a) we suggest the following additional wording to reflect the reality that 70% of the world’s poor are women and girls: “with a particular focus on women living in extreme poverty”.
Concerning Focus Area 3 – Health and population Dynamics
On target f) we suggest the following additions: “by 2030 ensure universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, including modern methods of family planning, information, education and services”.

We also have some concrete proposals concerning gender mainstream in other areas, which we will be very pleased to share with the Co-Chairs.

Thank you.