Women's groups also mobilizing to address post-2015 agenda

UNITED NATIONS — A meeting in September reflected the growing cooperation between UN agencies and civil society as they work to define the post-2015 development agenda.

Co-convened by UN Women and the Global Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) campaign, the day-long event brought together UN officials and representatives from non-governmental organizations on 13 September 2012.

“It seems there is a lot of political will for looking at the complexities of women’s lives and for identifying certain things that are priorities for us, and for seeing how we can bring those to all of the discussions on the post-2015 agenda and the sustainable development agenda,” said Savi Bisnath of the US-based Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

Lakshmi Puri, deputy executive director at UN Women, said she believes her agency and civil society can collaborate to develop a transformational agenda that underscores gender equality and women’s empowerment as defining principles in future development frameworks.

Charlotte Bunch of GEAR, who moderated a discussion on alliance-building and advocacy strategies, said she hoped that UN Women could use its access to governments and other UN entities to create the necessary space for civil society’s voice to be heard.

“The post-2015 agenda is huge but what we want is to make sure that gender equality is seen as one of the underlying values and achievements that is needed in order to have the kind of society we would want,” said Ms. Bunch.

For its part, UN Women said it plans to set up an extranet platform to facilitate on-line engagement within and among the civil society advisory groups that are being set up at the global, regional and country level.