The sustainable development discourse has dominated the agenda of international politicians, environmentalists, economists and development agencies. While these discussions may seem to happen at a very high and international level, it has a huge impact on us and every person that we come into contact with. It is therefore important that we, as agents of change, pause and reflect on how the discourse on sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impact on our work. Economic progress by itself, cannot ensure the sustainable progress of a nation. It also includes social aspects as well as environmental issues. The fundamental question is:” how the world economy can continue to develop in a way that is socially inclusive environmentally sustainable? I suppose the next question then is: What is Sustainable Development?
According to the World Bank, Sustainable development is “such a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Bank, 1987). A year ago at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015, the SDGs were adopted by member states. There are 17 interrelated sustainable development goals and you can find it here. For the sake of our discussion during the next webinar on Wednesday September 28, one may ask, ‘which goal(s) relate to girls?
Among the 17 SDGs, I found that Goal 2, 3, 4, 5 are directly or indirectly linked to girls’ education, training and empowerment and Goal 5.3 speaks directly to the work of GIRLS Inspire, “Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation”.
The most important question is how will we do this?