In just two months, world leaders will gather in Rio to hammer out a new set of agreements on what sustainable development means, and more importantly, how both rich and developing nations can get there before it’s too late. Day by day, the buzz is building around this historic Earth Summit. But there’s a problem: The big plans being hatched for the occasion — nicknamed Rio+20 — leave women out.
Of course there will be scores of women leaders at the Earth Summit. But key issues that matter to women — reproductive health, gender equality, girls’ education — are notable for their absence from the agenda. That needs to change.
The fact is, sustainable development isn’t sustainable if it doesn’t include empowering women to control their own bodies, educate themselves and their kids, and have a voice in government at all levels. As long as women continue to die each day because they are denied access to sexual and reproductive health and rights — such as care during pregnancy and the right to live free of violence and ... Read more