In their call for submissions, UN Women mentions a number of documents:
Question 1) The 2030 Agenda commits to universality, human rights and leaving nobody behind. How do you interpret these principles in relation to sex work/trade or prostitution?
Question 2) The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls. The SDGs also include several targets pertinent to women’s empowerment, such as
a) reproductive rights
b) women’s ownership of land and assets
c) building peaceful and inclusive societies
d) ending the trafficking of women
e) eliminating violence against women.
How do you suggest that policies on sex work/trade/prostitution can promote such targets and objectives?
Here are the links you might need.
Please take the time to run a search through the documents regarding „decent work“, and „equality“.
It is interesting to note that while the UN Women paper mentions a number of topics in a) – e) it does not mention „goal 8“ of the Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth,
full and productive employment and decent work for all
UN Women tells us: „There is no need to be familiar with these texts or documents, the key principles are clarified in the questions below.“
I beg to differ. If we can manage, we should read them or at least skim them, and quote them back at UN Women.
- Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Specifically regarding women:
Leave No One Behind: A Call to Action for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
The deadline has passed (30 September), but at the end of the document there is a list of submissions.
- Recommended reading in the context of prostitution is the joint submission by Equality Now, the European Women’s Lobby, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the Coalition Against Prostitution, in terms of content and in terms of how such submissions are written.
- The Swedish Women’s Lobby also addresses objectification in its submission.
There is a submission to the CEDAW committee by a sex industry lobbying group (‚Gobal Network of Sex Work Projects‘) which I will not link to here, but of course it can be accessed via the CEDAW committee paper, and it can also be of interest.
In detail, and taken from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:
From the Introduction:
(8) We envisage a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity, the rule of law, justice, equality and nonJdiscrimination; of respect for race, ethnicity and cultural diversity; and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity. A world which invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation. A world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed. A just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met.
From „The New Agenda“:
20. Realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets. The achievement of full human potential and of sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied its full human rights and opportunities. Women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision making at all levels. We will work for a significant increase in investments to close the gender gap and strengthen support for institutions in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women at the global, regional and national levels. All forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls will be eliminated, including through the engagement of men and boys. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda is crucial.
From Goal 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth,
full and productive employment and decent work for all:
8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms
8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
Box 1.1 The Sustainable Development Agenda and gender equality
The post-2015 development agenda, led by UN Member States with broad participation from a range of stakeholders, has targets agreed under Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Goal 5 also has links to Goal 8 on sustained, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all and Goal 10 on reducing inequalities between and within countries.
SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. It has nine associated targets, all with links to economic empowerment.
• End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
• Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
• Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. • Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.
• Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decisionmaking in political, economic and public life.
• Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
• Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws.
• Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women.
• Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.
Addressing gender disparities is recognized in SDG 8 for decent work and economic growth through “full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value” (Target 8.5) and to “protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment” (Target 8.8). SDG targets 1.3 and 10.4 underline the importance of social protection, with fiscal and wage policies, in addressing inequalities.
Addressing gender disparities is also recognized in SDG 10 for reduced inequalities, by ensuring “equal opportunity and by reducing inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard” (Target 10.3)—and in the revitalization of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development in Goal 17.
And Box 2.1 – Decent Work:
What is decent work?
Decent work is the core mandate of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO defines decent work as productive work for women and men in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Decent work involves opportunities for productive work, delivers a fair income, guarantees equal opportunities and equal treatment for all, provides security in the workplace and protection for workers and their families, offers better prospects for personal development and social inclusion, and gives people the freedom to express their concerns, to organize and to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
Decent work has been included in major human rights declarations, UN resolutions and outcome documents from major conferences including Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the World Summit for Social Development (1995) and in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015).
Source: Adapted from International Labour Organization. Retrieved from www.ilo.org/decentwork/.
Box 3.2 (pp. 56 ff) addresses the effects of violence against women and girls on their economic empowerment.