Promoting gender equality across Government

Date Posted: Tuesday 14th March 2017

March 2017 response to recommendations of the Women and Equalities Committee on Sustainable Development Goal 5.

UN Sustainable Goals


The Women and Equalities Committee today launched its report into the implementation on UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 (to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women by 2030). The UK strongly advocated for SDG 5 at the UN, but has not set out a clear plan for how the UK will meet its obligations.

The Committee recommended that:
  • The Government should domestically publicise its commitment to the SDGs in the UK and immediately commit to reporting to the UN’s High Level Political Forum in 2018.
  • The Minister for Women and Equalities should take responsibility for ensuring the achievement of SDG 5 across government.
  • The Government Equalities Office (GEO) should immediately consult on developing the most effective mechanism for facilitating ongoing partnership between government and civil society to achieve SDG 5.
  • The GEO should ensure that the key SDG principle of ‘leaving no-one behind’ is fully embedded in its revised Single Departmental Plan.
  • There is confusion around the role of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in developing national indicators and monitoring progress towards SDG 5, and this role must be clarified. The Government should also ensure funding for expert organisations to participate fully in the data collection and monitoring functions necessary for the successful achievement of SDG 5.

Responding to the Committee’s recommendations, Dr Eva Neitzert, Co-Director of the Women’s Budget Group said today:

‘The UK Government pushed for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to be included in the UN Strategic Development goals. We now need a cross government strategy to make sure that we deliver on this goal.

‘We welcome the recognition that women’s organisations, which represent millions of women across the country, have a vital role to play in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. We endorse the Committee’s call for a mechanism to support partnership between government, women’s organisations and wider civil society. Such a mechanism was provided by the Women’s National Commission, which was abolished in 2010, and has yet to be replaced’.


For further comment, contact Eva Neitzert on 07908 111 344 /

The report of the Women and Equalities Select Committee is available here.