SDG ALTERNATIVE REPORT: Girls and the Sustainable Development Goals in Selected Countries in the Asia-Pacific Region

Sunday, August 13, 2017
United Nation Theme: 


Progress made by governments toward the commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, commonly referred to as the “Sustainable Development Goals” or “SDGs,” is reviewed annually at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).1 The second round of global follow-up and review will take place in July 2017 and will include both global reviews of key goals as well as national voluntary reviews from governments. The theme for HLPF 2017 is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.” The set of goals to be reviewed globally during HLPF will be the following: • GOAL 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere • GOAL 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture • GOAL 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages • GOAL 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls • GOAL 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation • GOAL 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development • GOAL 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development The 2017 forum, which is convened under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, will be held from 10-19 July and will include a threeday ministerial meeting. Of the goals being reviewed at the HLPF 2017, this Review focuses on Goals 1, 2, 3, 5 and 17 only, recognising that Goals 9 and 14 have less direct and specific links to the situation of girls and women. This Review uses the definition of girls according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which defines a child as every human being below the age of eighteen years.2 For the Asia-Pacific region, the availability of disaggregated data on SDG indicators to support these reviews is poor, particularly when it comes to data on girls. This Review aims to provide a situational analysis of girls and issues related to their well-being using selected SDGs and related indicators to the extent that data are available and indicators are relevant to girls across their lifecycle. The focus of the lifecycle is brought in, where data for women is also presented, to illustrate the longer-term effects of not investing in girls and the potential for improving their well-being when women have a role to play in development such as through political participation. The Review draws on secondary data and information and provides comparison across 12 countries with a regional overview where possible. These countries include those that have provided voluntary national reviews in 2017; namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, and Thailand. Vietnam, which is up for review in 2018, Fiji, and Mongolia were included to enable some comparison within the sub-regions. The evidence and information, when presented in tabular form, is arranged according to sub-regions, namely South Asia, South East Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific, for ease of comparison if intended. This Review does acknowledge that all countries within sub-regions have not been included due to time constraints. Where data is not available or disaggregated, the gaps in data and analysis on the relevant issues are highlighted. Where gaps exist, complementary indicators are used or broader issues are included in the analysis in order to present a more complete picture of the situation and issues that need to be considered in relation to each goal. The analysis draws on issues and related indicators, and also provides in-depth stories, where possible, to qualify the issues, progress, and gaps that persist with regards to girls. This includes, but is not limited to, a significant focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and related issues. The Review is primarily intended for use by government actors including Asia-Pacific Member States, national delegations attending HLPF 2017, and the Asia-Pacific Permanent Missions to the UN, as well Introduction Girls and the Sustainable Development Goals in Selected Countries in the Asia-Pacific Region 8 SDG Alternative Report 2017 as civil society advocates and practitioners working in the Asia-Pacific region. • For governments, the Review provides a comparative perspective of how they are progressing on the SDGs and the girl child relative to other countries in the region. It helps them gain insights into areas of action they should explore in order to reach the goals for girls. • For Asia-Pacific national delegations, including the Permanent Missions to the UN, and especially the second and third committee members responsible for economic, social and humanitarian affairs, the consolidation of comparative information helps to set the agenda at the international level. • For advocates and practitioners, the regional situation analysis of the girl child can help inform their advocacy activities and develop their specific asks. The Review has the following sections: Section 1 is the introduction, Section 2 presents a general regional situational overview of the Asia-Pacific region, Section 3 presents the detailed analysis against the goals 1, 2, 3, 5 and 17, including goal specific recommendations, and Section 4 presents broad conclusions and recommendations. This Review was prepared by the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) with the financial and substantive contributions of the Equal Measures 2030 initiative


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SDG ALTERNATIVE REPORT: Girls and the Sustainable Development Goals in Selected Countries in the Asia-Pacific Region