A NEED FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT 

As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium

Development Goals was approaching , a number of processes were 

under way among UN Member States, the UN system,

academia, policymakers and civil society to reflect on the

post-2015 development framework.

A growing number of states were  reviewing and prioritizing

the lessons learned that need to be incorporated into the

post-2015 framework. The most recent (2012) Millennium

Development Goals Report revealed that while there was

notable progress in some gender equality dimensions there

remains much to be done in every country, at every level, to

achieve equality and women’s empowerment.

Empowerment means moving from enforced powerlessness to

a position of power. Education is an essential means of

empowering women with the knowledge, skills and self-

confidence necessary to fully participate in the development

process. Sustainable development is only possible when women

and men enjoy equal opportunities to reach their potential.

Women and girls experience multiple and intersecting

inequalities.

Structural barriers in the economic, social, political and

environmental spheres produce and reinforce these

inequalities. Obstacles to women’s economic and political

empowerment, and violence against women and girls, are

barriers to sustainable development and the achievement of

human rights, gender equality, justice and peace.

Across much of the world, either by law or custom, women

are still denied the right to own land or inherit property,

obtain access to credit, attend school, earn income and

progress in their profession free from job discrimination.

Women are significantly under-represented in decision-making

at all levels.

While the economic benefits of educating girls are similar to

those of educating boys, recent findings suggest the social

benefits are greater.

Women have the potential to change their own economic

status and that of their communities and countries in which

they live yet usually women’s economic contributions are

unrecognized, their work undervalued and their promise

undernourished.

Unequal opportunities between women and men hamper

women’s ability to lift themselves from poverty and secure

improved options to improve their lives. Education is the most

powerful instrument for changing women’s position in society.

Investing in women’s and girls’ education is one of the most

effective ways to reduce poverty.

In line with the Millennium Development Goals and the

objectives established by the international community,

MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development

Cooperation, at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, consistently

promotes the empowerment of women, considering women’s

education a critical component of development policy and

planning, and central to sustainable development.

Following important changes in the international development

landscape in recent years MASHAV adopted a dual approach

to development: We engage in active development policy

dialogues and development diplomacy, thus contributing to and

shaping policy at a higher, multilateral level.

And, through professional programs, we maintain an active and

effective presence at the field level.

One of MASHAV’s earliest affiliate training institutions, The

Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center

(MCTC), has addressed the connection between gender,

poverty reduction and sustainable development for over five

decades.

MCTC places education at the core of women’s ability to

contribute to all activities, working to enhance knowledge,

competency and skills, including in the development process

and in their contributions to civil society.

Guided by this mindset, MASHAV, together with MCTC, the

UN Development Program and UN Women is organizing the

28th International Conference for Women Leaders on “The

Post-2015 and Sustainable Development Goals Agenda:

Ensuring the Centrality of Gender Equality and Women’s

Empowerment in the Next Framework.”

This November, senior women and men from the public and

associative sectors – ministers, members of parliaments,

heads of women’s associations, representatives of

international organizations and representatives of the judicial,

business and academic sectors – will convene in Haifa to

discuss progress achieved and gaps remaining in the

implementation of the Millennium Development Goals from a

gender perspective. We will highlight lessons learned and best

practices in advancing gender equality and women’s

empowerment.

Education is important for everyone, but it is a critical area

of empowerment for girls and women. This is not only

because education is an entry point to opportunity but also

because women’s educational achievements have positive

ripple effects within the family and across generations.

Education is much more than reading and writing. It is an

essential investment countries make for their futures, a

crucial factor in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable

development.


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