‘Leave No One Behind’: Gender, Sexuality and the Sustainable Development Goals
IDS Evidence Report 154
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In an unprecedented move to eradicate disease, poverty and hunger, world leaders joined together in 2000 to sign into life the hotly contested but broadly agreed upon Millennium Development Goal (MDG) framework. In 2015, as the MDGs come to an end, a new generation of world leaders – government officials, donors and civil society organisations – have joined forces to articulate their vision for a future where all people can contribute to, and benefit from, an inclusive development framework. Across the documents and consultations, these leaders have emphasised a central message: ‘leave no one behind’.
If the global commitment to eradicate inequality for all people is truly unequivocal, as leaders claim it to be, the implementation of these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs to take into account the voices of those people who, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression (SOGIE), have historically been excluded from the benefits of development policies and programmes.
The findings in this report are based on a comprehensive review of empirical literature on sexuality, gender and development, including primary research conducted on the Sexuality, Poverty and Law programme. In mapping these findings against the brand new SDG framework, the report highlights the importance of SOGIE-inclusive development in the post-2015 era. It argues that unless deliberate steps are taken by development actors at an international and national level, billions of people will be excluded from the benefits of international development because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.