On September 25th, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), also referred to as the Global Goals.
The SDGs will shape the agendas and policies for the United Nations, government leaders and development organizations over the next 15 years. The SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goal platform (adopted in 2000 to end extreme poverty by 2015) but they’re more detailed and far reaching, with 17 specific goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice everywhere, as well as stem climate change.
Some say the SDGs are too ambitious to be accomplished by the 2030 target date. Others say they’re not ambitious or inclusive enough to fully address all the conditions and challenges that leave millions living in poverty and suffering inequalities, and putting our ability to sustain life on earth at risk. At Every Mother Counts we view the SDGs with optimism, albeit not without a healthy dose of impatience.
We’re optimistic that new approaches and fresh commitments will make maternal health a bigger priority. But, we’re concerned that the SDGs don’t designate a separate goal specifically for maternal health, as in the previous set of goals.
Instead, maternal health is housed within the much broader goal #3, Good Health and Well-being. The thinking behind this shift is, presumably, that by linking all related global goals such as #5, Gender Equality and #10, Reduced Inequalities, there is potential to band more focused groups together and elevate all of us long term. If that can happen, we’re all for it.
The more individuals we can inspire to join this movement the greater impact our grant portfolio has on women and communities around the world. The more content we create to educate those individuals about proven solutions, the more lasting that impact will be. We are committed to raising awareness about the value of healthier women in society, and for those who do become mothers we recognize the greater potential they have to impact our global communities when they are healthy and supported. We stand with anyone who is in agreement and invite you to join us, because together we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother.
Every Mother Counts has submitted our public commitment to signal our support for the UN Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. This includes:
- Aiming to invest a minimum of $1 million annually between 2016 and 2030 to programs aimed at improving maternal and newborn health and reducing mortality in more than 10 countries. We will aim to directly, meaningfully impact at least 5 million lives through the programs we support by 2030.
- Building and nurture our community to over 2 million committed individuals who are educated about maternal health and actively raising awareness and taking actions on behalf of our organization.
- Continuing to advocate publicly at every level for increased attention and resources to maternal health, and to elevate the public profile of individuals, organizations and initiatives working to do the same.