In 2015, global leaders signed up to the most ambitious development agenda the world has ever seen, agreeing to 17 sustainable development goals. The pledge was to “leave no one behind” in a universal agenda for rich and poor countries alike. As we reach one-fifth of the way towards that 2030 deadline, how can governments make progress on such an ambitious and complex agenda?

A new report from UN Women, Turning Promises into Action, makes clear that one of the answers is to prioritize policies and investments to advance gender equality.

In the case of food security, SDG 2 sets out to end hunger and improve nutrition. New data show that in two thirds of countries, women are more likely to report food insecurity.

One answer is to strengthen women’s land rights (target 5.a). Women play a pivotal role in food production, processing, and distribution, yet globally, they are just 13 percent of agricultural land holders. Where women have secure access to land, they are more likely to invest to increase productivity and receive support to adopt climate-smart agricultural techniques (target 13.b).

Read the full article on gender equality for the SDG by Ginette Azcona and Silke Staab at Devex International Development