This article offers a power analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process and outcomes, from a feminist perspective. Many see, in the SDGs, several opportunities for progress on gender equality and women’s rights, if not for transformation. Yet there are many reasons for scepticism, as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s vision is not always met with strong enough language, clear policies or funding provisions. Realising the ‘transformative potential’ of the Agenda in the decade and a half to come will be far from a technocratic exercise – and this is particularly true for the full realisation of women’s rights. A first step is to consider how structural power relations are challenged or reinforced in the Agenda and the SDGs, and in plans for their implementation and resourcing.
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