Long Read
10 September 2015

A watchdog as a reminder to realise SDGs for girls

The continued support and leadership role of Dutch policy makers in SRHR, in addressing sensitive topics and not shying away from taboos, has brought us a long way. Continuation of this support will help the new post-2015 development agenda to be really an agenda that leaves no-one behind. This week, Simavi as part of the SRHR Alliance and Youth Empowerment Alliance, called on the Dutch government to keep SRHR and the empowerment of women and girls a priority of the international development policy.

On behalf of the alliances, Nanneke Nix -Simavi’s Director Partnership Development-, handed over this call to action to several Members of Parliament. The present Members, Agnes Mulder (CDA), Eric Smaling (SP), Stientje van Veldhoven (D66) and Joost Taverne (VVD), embraced this message and received a symbolic watchdog as to remind them of this.


Call to action

The call to action was a follow up of last week’s event #AboutaGirl that the SRHR Alliance, the Youth Empowerment Alliance and online platform OneWorld Love organised to ensure continued attention of Dutch politicians for SRHR. During the event Roelof van Laar, Dutch Member of Parliament (PvdA) and Chair of the Multi Party Initiative on SRHR and HIV/AIDS,  signed the Call to Action to commit himself to help realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for girls. Rachel Monica Achen, a peer-educator from Uganda, handed over a symbolic ‘watchdog’ to Roelof van Laar as a reminder to fulfil his promise.

About a girl19

If we really want a world that leaves no one behind, we need to make sure that everyone has access to the full range of SRHR information and services, that everyone can participate meaningfully and that everyone has equal chances for a happy, healthy and stable life, regardless of age, income, gender, sexual orientation, health- or marital status.

Sustainable Development Goals to improve SRHR

SDG 3, ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and SDG 5, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The SDGs are being adopted by the UN Member States during the SDG Summit taking place in New York from 25-27 September.  These are the successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Looking back at the MDG’s, a lot has been accomplished. For example poverty is diminished by more than half and access to drinking water has improved, but there are also some major gaps and worries.

Particularly in the field of SRHR, results are lagging behind and many challenges remain. For example, the goals to reduce maternal mortality and increase access to reproductive health haven’t been reached.

The Post-2015 development agenda has the potential to be truly transformative for women and girls, if fully implemented! There are two goals incorporated in the new Sustainable Development Goals that are related to improving the SRHR of all. SDG 3, ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and SDG 5, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.


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