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SDGs and Gender Equality

This Guidance Note aims to provide user-friendly guidance on integrating gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the nationalization and localization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Europe and Central Asia region. The document is intended for United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) and can be shared with regional partners (e.g. European Union, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Council of Europe, civil society organizations and others) to promote policy and programmatic synergies. The note draws upon the twin-track approach to gender equality of the SDGs. It highlights the interrelated nature of the SDGs and the importance of the “leave no one behind” principle as the basis for applying a gender lens to all policies and activities to advance the goals at national and local levels.

The Guidance Note presents the outcomes of analysis drawing on two key sources of regional and country-based data:

  • A survey of UNCTs in the region: seventeen Country Teams responded to the survey (August–September 2016) with information on the status of the SDG nationalization/localization process in each country, challenges in mainstreaming gender equality, and good practices. The information was updated in March 2017.
  • A desk review of reports, assessments and databases: this yielded regional trends in gender equality and the national and regional landscape of policies and practices conducive for progress toward gender equality.

In analysing the data, special attention was paid to the formulation of practical recommendations to address challenges specific to the region. The Guidance Note also includes lessons learned and promising practices that reflect the experiences of UNCT member agencies.

The SDGs and Gender Equality: UN Interagency Guidance Note for the Europe and Central Asia region consists of three sections, five addenda and a glossary. The first section highlights the role of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The second section places the SDGs in the context of the key regional trends in gender equality. It refers readers to the analysis of nine trends in gender equality in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (presented in Addendum II, Regional advocacy brief on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment). The third section identifies four essential steps in the gender-responsive implementation of the SDGs, with guidance, recommendations and examples illustrating successful practices.

Addendum I contains a list of resources and Addendum III a set of exercises designed to assist UNCTs in achieving gender equality in implementing the SDGs. Addendum IV features tips, promising practices and lessons learned from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Addendum V presents flow charts, illustrating the consecutive steps undertaken by UNCTs to ensure gender-responsive SDG implementation.