Accelerating progress: An empowered, inclusive and equal Asia and the Pacific

Empowering people, ensuring inclusiveness and equality is fundamental to realizing sustainable development. What change is needed to strengthen empowerment and promote inclusion and equality of all people within our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda, including its central aspiration to leave no one behind? This report helps to answer that question, by proposing a framework of four synergistic elements that can promote these intertwined objectives. The report illustrates how each element of the framework contributes to better Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) outcomes. It finds that where social norms support women’s participation in household decisions there are also better health outcomes for children. Similarly, reduced frequency of child marriage is associated with higher female educational attainment. It also shows that constitutional recognition of environmental rights is associated with improved environmental performance across the core environment-related SDGs.The report applies the framework to three important policy making spheres in Asia and the Pacific that will likely define the region’s success in achieving the 2030 Agenda – climate action, domestic resource mobilization, civic participation – and also takes a look at violence against women and girls.