The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) differ from the MDGs in purpose, concept, and politics. This article focuses on the gender agenda in the SDGs as a reflection on the shifts from the MDGs to the SDGs. It argues that the SDGs address several of the key shortcomings of the MDGs and incorporate a broader and more transformative agenda that more adequately reflects the complex challenges of the 21st century, and the need for structural reforms in the global economy. The SDGs also reverse the MDG approach to global goal setting and the misplaced belief in the virtues of simplicity, concreteness, and quantification. While the SDGs promise the potential for a more transformative agenda, implementation will depend on continued advocacy on each of the targets to hold authorities to account.
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