Development goals not possible without investing in women: UN deputy chief

Reaching the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be possible without investing more in women.

That’s the view of Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, who is leading a ground-breaking high-level delegation to Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

She is travelling with the Executive Director of UN Women, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and the African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security.

More details from Dianne Penn.

The UN deputy chief, speaking in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Thursday, said she and her colleagues had held constructive meetings on the first day of their visit, and received a “warm reception.”

She said they had come to discuss general issues of peace, security and development, with an emphasis on women’s rights and empowerment.

“We know that from the economy to stability and peace, we are not able to achieve our goals if we are only investing in half of the population. It is a nation and a continent’s greatest asset, the human resource. Women are often half of it, but lack the investments that we need.”

Ms Mohammed said that the drive for sustainable development had become more complex in recent years, and although SDGs such as ending extreme poverty and providing education were important, new factors had to be taken into account.

“The context that we are living in is that of conflict, extremism, that is within many of our countries, and in particular Nigeria. So here what we really want to do is to hear and bring the messages of women: women in decision-making; women who bear the brunt and carry the burden of many of the tragedies that we see, to see how we come out of this; how we can be a constructive partner in finding the solutions to sustainable development.”

She said that emphasizing the rights and role of women was also “a huge part of our economic development.”

Source: United Nations Radio