Salem, Tamil Nadu
In this moment, millions of lives are threatened by poverty, food insecurity, and climate change, sounding an urgent call to action to global leaders. But this year has the potential to be a turning point, as more than 150 world leaders are gathered at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York to launch the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit agenda will serve as a plan of action by the international community and by national governments to improve human lives and promote well-being for all over the next 15 years. Each of the 17 SDGs focuses on a different aspect of development, including goals to address eliminating poverty, promoting good health, ensuring peace and justice, guaranteeing the access to clean water, and more. While the goals touch these specific areas, their success is contingent on a comprehensive integration reflecting the way they are experienced in an individual’s life. Women, especially those who live in the developing world, are disproportionately affected by development challenges. For example, climate change has serious ramifications for agriculture, and women farmers currently account for 45 to 80 percent of all food production in developing countries. In the developing world, about 60 percent of the women’s labor force is engaged in agricultural work. This proportion can be up to 90 percent in African countries. In the context of climate change, traditional food sources become scarce and unpredictable, meaning women, and the households that depend on them, must cope with a lack of both food and income.