From Principles to Practice: Strengthening Accountability for Gender Equality in Int'l Development

Existing accountability mechanisms focused on global gender equality are largely retrospective in nature. Where mechanisms do probe at governments’ commitments to future progress, they often lack accompanying incentive structures (“carrots and sticks”) to encourage ambition. Countries report their progress implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, participate in annual Commission on the Status of Women sessions, and touch on gender equality as part of voluntary national review reporting for the Sustainable Development Goals. Although these processes, among others, provide an opportunity for country reflection and for civil society engagement, they do not mandate that governments establish and adhere to forward-looking, specific commitments detailing how they aim to promote gender equality.

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