Chapter Number and Title: Claudia García-Moreno & Avni Amin (2016), The Sustainable Development Goals, Violence, Women’s, and Children’s Health: Bulletin of World Health Organ; 94:396–397
Women in developing countries as well as indigenous communities are vulnerable facing different forms of violence and risks, which retard their standard of living and their social esteem. Women and children of all ages should be empowered and there is the need for their integration in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs by policy makers.
Women empowerment has an impact on achieving sustainable development since women play a vital role in the development process hence there is the need to address all developmental issues affecting women. Sustainable development according to Robles (2018) is a western concept. However, developing countries can adopt measures to achieve sustainable development in some decades to come. There are about seventeen sustainable development goals established to achieve sustainable development of which the article explained how some of the goals are linked to women, children development. It is evident that sustainable development is a long term and achieving the goals especially in developing countries is a challenge.
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The aim of this paper is to review an article entitled; “The Sustainable Development Goals, Violence and Women’s And Children’s Health” by Claudia García-Moreno & Avni Amin. The article did not come out with specific objective(s) however, it can be understood from its content that the researcher reviewed how health sector, women and children development can support the achievement of sustainable development.
The article concluded that, there are two sustainable development goals that integrated women empowerment and children development. Also, the health sector plays a vital role by supporting other sectors to implement programs and policies as well as play a vital role in dealing with violence against women and children. The article suggested that there is the need to prevent violence against children to improve their health and development, which is a vital approach to also address violence against women. The author also added that sustainable development goals would help to achieve sustainable development.
Development (Book’s Main Arguments)
According to the researcher, sustainable development goals exhibits a chance to attain the efforts on preventing violence against women by government in several earlier declaration as explained by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The researcher speculated that two goals are linked to Sustainable development namely SDG 5 and SDG 16.The author revealed that SDG 5 deals with gender equality as well as women and girls empowerment. The goal according to the researcher involves two particular targets (target 5.2 and 5.3) aimed to eradicate violence and harmful practices. The researcher further explained that Target 5.2 aimed to “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”. Target 5.3 on the other hand aimed to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation”. According to the researcher, these targets helps to address all kind of violence and dangerous activities against women and girls which facilitate gender equality and women empowerment and will promote sustainable development.
The researcher stated that SDG16 also enhances peace, justice and strong institutions for sustainable development that focus on target 16.2 to eradicate different kinds of violence against children.
The researcher elaborated that there is proper documentation of the social and economic cost and harmful effects of violence on the wellbeing and health of women and children. The researcher was on the point that there is greater patronage of health-care services by women going through violence and the those health services can support women’s accessibility to different services such as social services like housing, legal or police services. The researcher argued that the health sector in most countries is less involved in “multi-sectorial response” to enhance the prevention and respond to violence as compared to other sectors. The article emphasized that the health sector needs advocacy and political will to play a vital role in enhancing violence against women.
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The article revealed that the World Health Assembly embraced a resolution in May 2014 dubbed; “Strengthening the role of the health system in addressing violence, in particular against women and girls and against children.” The article further elaborated that this resolution requested the World Health Organization (WHO) to create a “global plan of action” in solidification of health system role in dealing with interpersonal violence specifically against women, girls and children. The article added that the action plan implementation needs to be steered by the principles of gender equality, human rights and health equity. The article hinted that there is the need for health leaders and policy makers to openly challenge the social acceptance of violence against women and children hence policy makers need to include “violence prevention and response programming into national health plans, strategies” and human and financial resources distribution to facilitates their implementation.
The health sector according to the article will promote programs fight against social norms and attitude that overlook male violence against women as well as supporting the power of men over women, children and other men. The article hinted that the health sector could support other sectors in the implementation of programs and policies to develop access to services as well as help to create other measures for income generation for women.
The researcher stated that, it is proven that children experiencing violence are more likely to continue violence in their life and experience “have behavioral, emotional and mental “health problems during their childhood and adolescence”. In the light of this, the article emphasized there is the need to prevent violence against children to improve their health and development, which is a vital approach to address violence against women.
The health sector according to the article can help give psychosocial support to children whose mothers have been exposed to violence which in other words support women against violence. The researcher further revealed that government is mandated to establish baseline data and invest in an organized collection of data on women experienced through “population-based surveys”.
It is evidence from the article that, women and children are areas of focus in some of the Sustainment Development Goals in attempt to achieve sustainable development. The article made mention of SDG 5 and SDG 16 which focus on women empowerment and children development however the article did not “quote” the goals to give readers clear understanding of how those goals are linked to women and children development. According to Robles (2018), Sustainable Development is a western concept, which implies that developing countries will find it difficult to achieve this vision. Women and children in developing countries and indigenous communities are mostly faced with violence and risks so the question one can ask is, “Is Sustainable Development Goal 5 and 16 for women and children in western countries or developing countries or “both”? This critical question need to be asked because sustainable development concept is a western concept and if those two goals focus on western countries, achieving sustainable development will be a challenge. This is because the western countries depend on developing countries for survival in some sectors of the economy especially in the agricultural sector where women play an essential role in food production. Additionally, women and children in developed countries are not mostly experiencing violence and risks but rather women in developing countries are experiencing different forms of violence. This implies that the concept should include indigenous knowledge as well as developing countries and decision makers should adopt grassroots approach in its attempt to achieve sustainable development globally.
The article made a very good point that, the health sector has a great impact on other programs and policies implementation however; the article did not give detailed information of this point. Explanation can be given that the health sector is one of the important sectors of the economy that has great effect on other sectors of the economy such as economic, social and environment. This means that the health sector promote human resources(labor force) which is eventually needed to enhance the economic sector mostly and when the economic sector is improved, decision makers will get more tax revenue to improve the social sector of the economy. I agree with the article on the point that good health system will help reduce violence among women, girls and children because it will make them more active in economic activities to generate sustainable income for their standard of living and improve their social esteem to fight for their fundamental human rights.
According to Sachs (2015), sustainability development goals are difficult to be accomplished on the new development agenda by global leaders to facilitate improved standard of living of people in the world. This means that, there should be more adoption of approaches and strategies to achieve sustainable development. Sustainable development definition is ambiguous according Robles (2018). The concept can be achieved when there is holistic approach to the concept where there is integration of economic, environmental and social factors. Additionally, decision makers should incorporate indigenous knowledge and promote of education in the concept.
- Sachs, J. (2015). The Age of Sustainability Development. New York: Columbia University Press: 10, p. 316-356
- Robles, W. (2018). Lecture notes on Rural Sustainability: Brandon University.
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