IWDA’s Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into the UN’s SDGs (March 2018)


On 4 December 2017, the Senate tasked the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade with an inquiry into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Submissions closed on 29 March, 2018, and a report is due by 29 November, 2018.

The Global Goals are a call to action for people, prosperity and the planet answered by all UN member states.

IWDA’s submission highlights how the Australian Government could strengthen its approach to the Goals through a focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and makes 30 recommendation in 5 key areas, summarised briefly below.

Regarding gender equality and women’s empowerment, IWDA recommends the Australian government: promote gender equality and women’s empowerment as integral to progress on all SDGs; connect domestic and international actions; promote diverse women and women’s rights organisations as leaders on the 2030 Agenda; and recognise the importance of investing in women’s rights organisations to accelerate progress on the SDGs.

Concerning understanding and awareness of the SDGs, IWDA recommends initiation of a public awareness campaign and support for new partnerships between private sector, academia and civil society domestically and through Australia’s ODA, including communication across government.

Relating to government structures and accountability mechanisms, IWDA recommends: development of a national implementation plan and mechanisms for engaging civil society expertise; funding a multi-sectoral secretariat, and integrating SDG efforts into existing cross-government mechanisms and plans; strengthening of accountability within the aid program to the SDGs and gender equality, and of the approach to Women, Peace and Security; and integration of gender analysis into all Aid for Trade activities.

Regarding resourcing SDGs implementation, recommendations include: resourcing of government coordination mechanisms; rebuilding Australia’s ODA program to 0.7% of GNI by 2030, with a 2025 deadline for 10% of investments with gender equality as a principle objective; increased funding for women’s rights organisations; meeting commitments towards contraceptive information, services and supplies; actioning of the Addis Ababa Action Plan on Transformative Financing for Gender Equality; and resourcing of leadership development and movement building alongside quantifiable programs.

Pertaining to addressing data gaps and measuring change at the individual level, IWDA recommends the Australian government; maintain leadership and investment in addressing gender data gaps; and prioritises quality disaggregated data collection domestically and internationally, including supporting capacity-building for regional National Statistics Offices.

The submission and full set of recommendations can be found here.