What are Millennium Development Goals? Print E-mail
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Written by Contributed by WIN-Belize   
Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of quantifiable, time-bound goals that aim to achieve the social, economic and environmental advances that are required for sustainable gains in human development. The Millennium Development Goals and targets come from the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries, including 147 heads of State and Government, in September 2000.  Belize is a signatory to the Millennium Development Goals.

The MDGs are designed to act positively on the living conditions of human beings across the globe, and to improve their standard of living.  The statistics below highlight the gravity of the serious problems facing some of the world's population in the 21st century. 

• About 900 million people were estimated to live in slum-like conditions
• Nearly one billion people still did not have access to safe drinking water
• By the end of 2001, an estimated 13 million children under 15 had lost one or both parents to AIDS in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean
• Eleven million children below age five still died every year from preventable causes – about 30,000 a day (UNDP, 2011)

The MDGs  are interrelated, and should be seen as a whole that represent a partnership between the developed countries and the developing countries, to create an environment conducive to development and the elimination of poverty. The MDGs provide a platform to measure and evaluate developmental progress using select indicators, and using comparative international standards.
What is Millennium Development Goal # 3 and why is this an important goal for us to achieve as a country?

The goal of MDG #3 is to promote gender equality and empower women, through achieving the target of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.  This is to be achieved through improving the ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education, increasing the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector, and by increasing the proportion of seats held by women in the National Assembly.

How is Belize doing in its progress towards the achievement of MDG 3?

Belize is not on track to achieving MDG 3 and Belize will not achieve this goal by 2015.   In its recommendations to Belize on its 3rd and 4th periodic report, (July 2007) CEDAW cautioned that the country would need to fast track women’s political leadership by putting in “special temporary measures” for women’s political representation at the highest parliamentary level (UNDP, 2010)
What does Belize need to do to achieve MDG # 3?

Belize needs to build awareness and capacity at three levels:
• The national sensitization and awareness on the right of women to political participation and representation;
• Building the capacities of women and civil society organizations to strengthen civic engagement and promote women’s participation in democratic processes; and
• Supporting a cadre of women to bring visibility to women in leadership positions and those aspiring for political office.

The National Women's Commission, UNDP and WIN Belize are taking steps to facilitate this mandate; however, they cannot do it alone, so what step are YOU going to take right now to ensure the fulfillment of MDG # 3?