Sustainable Development

IWRAW AP’s engagement with sustainable development is based on the principle that it is a legal, political and moral imperative to ground development priorities in human rights and that universal standards for development outcomes must be ensured, based on the recognition that all people are entitled to equality regardless of any status. This would enable states to center policies and programmes in such a way to ensure that the results reach those who need them the most.

Our work aims to create and strengthen alternative spaces for women’s voices, especially from the Global South, to bring country level issues and priorities to influence global and regional agendas. To this end, we coordinate and convene the Global South Women’s Forum on Sustainable Development. We are also focused on connecting the human rights framework to the sustainable development framework as we believe that development priorities based on human rights would enhance accountability and shift the focus from aspirational rhetoric to actual implementation. CEDAW, as one of the most widely ratified international conventions, would provide a robust and evolving framework for State accountability and obligation under international law and link women’s human rights and development.

We Work With

  • Women’s Rights Organisations
  • Regional and global Civil Society and Women’s Rights Organisations and Networks
  • United Nations Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and Mandate Holders

Programme in Action

Despite lofty ambitions, the 2030 Agenda does not have a built-in compliance framework to ensure accountability to the prescribed goals. IWRAW AP believes that in order to ensure gender equality is prioritised and localised, meaningful, reciprocal communication channels must be forged to facilitate vital exchange between local and global levels on current information on the progress on gender equality worldwide. We committed to creating a platform that is both living and growing; that is organic, dynamic and symbiotic with other existing processes. This is how the Global South Women’s Forum (GSWF) on Sustainable Development, a forum that links local experiences to global processes, came to be: IWRAW AP began to mobilise Global South WROs around the 2030 Agenda. The first GSWF was held in Cambodia in 2016, the second in Rwanda in 2017, the third in Jordan in 2018 and the fourth in Malaysia in 2019. The Forums brought together women from different parts of the Global South who addressed the conceptualisation of sustainable development as a women’s rights issue and strategised to work collectively.


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