Last week, more than 370 “Goalmakers” convened in Seattle to share ideas and discuss progress and challenges related to the Sustainable Development Goals. A recurring theme surfaced throughout the day: How can global development practitioners and funders ensure that women and girls around the world are safe, thriving, and set up for success? Here is a glimpse at some of those conversations:

On gender-based violence
“75% of women and girls all over the world are not covered by any sort of regional treaty.”

- Zainab Ali Khan, Founding Working Group Member, Every Women Treaty

On breaking the cycle of violence
“Listen to the community. When we were talking to women about empowerment [and] about agency, they said, “don’t talk to us, talk to the men.’”

-Sohini Bhattacharya, President & CEO, Breakthrough

On the role of funders
“When you invest in women to address violence in their community … you’re investing in the power of women.”

-Puja Dhawan, Director, Initiative to End Violence Against Girls and Women, NoVo Foundation

On learning from the community
“We need to listen and be prepared to challenge potential stereotypes.”

-Rebecca Hope, Founder and Executive Director, YLabs

On menstrual equity
“[This issue] has the opportunity to be unique, agile, and a playground for innovation as long as we listen.”

-Alanna Imbach, Strategic Partnerships Consultant, WaterAid

On the interconnectedness of the SDGs
“Gender cuts across all the SDGs.”

-Alex Reid, Deputy Director, Head of Goalkeepers, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation