AGENDA 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals


Australia is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal, global approach to reduce poverty, promote sustainable development and ensure the peace and prosperity of people across the world. Rural, regional and remote areas of Australia are at the nexus of sustainable development and can share solutions, challenges and good practice.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Globally. The SDGs are aspirational goals containing a global blueprint for a sustainable future for our planet, our communities, our families and our economies. Australians have long recognised the need to manage the environment and the economy in a sustainable way. Rural, Regional and Remote Women are often at the forefront of the drive for sustainability and action.  The work of the National Rural Women’s Coalition supports global advocacy for the SDG’s and shares information, hosts events and presents submissions to the Australian Government for input into the monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs.

The SDG’s have 17 goals and 169 targets  and 231 unique indicators (12 indicators repeat under two or three different targets) to measure achievement of these goals.  The time limit to achieve all 17 goals is 2030 and to date we are not on target to achieve these….

NRWC has representation on multiple forums to bring the gendered impacts and solutions to government.  These include :


  • Roundtable Social Protections Feb 2019
  • Australian Federal Budget Post-Briefing Canberra April 2019
  • National Bushfire Peak Bodies Recovery Forum
  • Workplace Sexual harassment
  • Food Security Roundtable May 2017
  • Homelessness Roundtable August 2018
  • Homelessness submission – July 2020
  • Climate Change Roundtable – Feb 2021
  • Access to Services for RRR women Roundtable & Report – February 2019 
  • What RRR Women Want Surveys
  • eSafety for RRR Women Roundtable & Report
  • Women’s Mental health in the Bush – Roundtable April 2018

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Where we connect with the SDGs

SDG 5 : Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls

As the NRWC we focus on gender equality, empowerment of women and girls in the rural, regional and remote communities, and raising the status of women in Australia and globally many of the actions are included under Goal 5 : Gender Equality.   We present a number of webinars and events that support for example pathways for women to get on Boards and to increase their political participation.  

Natural Disasters 

Natural disasters do not affect men and women equally. Disasters often affect women, girls, men and boys differently due to gender inequalities caused by socioeconomic conditions, cultural beliefs and traditional practices that repeatedly have put women and girls in all their diversity at a disadvantage.  In disaster relief and actions  gender is an integral part of disaster management. 

Natural disasters (and their subsequent impact) on average kill more women than men or kill women at an earlier age than men. Engaging and empowering women are beneficial means of strengthening resilience to disaster risks. Just as gender roles and relations shape vulnerability to disaster, conversely they also shape people's capacity to prepare, withstand, and recover.

Gender Discrepancies in rural development and restoration

Land and property Rights

Livelihoods in rural areas are very much connected to land, so the questions of who owns it and who gets to make decisions about different land uses are really critical. Women are often disadvantaged in that sense: they own and control less of the land, and they’re seldom key decision-makers on farms or in forests. That links to a lot of other issues, too. For example, when you don’t have access to land, you’re disadvantaged when you try to apply for credit, and when you don’t control the land, you have less control over the income that it generates.

Global pushes toward gender equality and restoration can have very different impacts at the local level depending on the context, as well as on the way that initiatives are being delivered. 

SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation:  Drinking water quality in Australia is high by world standards, considering that globally more than one billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water.    Globally in 2019 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million people who are dependent on surface water.  When water is not available in the home – as is the case in many rural areas in developing countries – women and girls are most often tasked with collecting it. This takes a significant amount of time and limits their engagement in other activities such as paid work and education.

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy: Rural women are more likely to rely on solid fuels such as wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal and dung for household cooking. Used on open fires or in leaky stoves, this creates high levels of household air pollution. It also forces women and girls to spend ample time collecting fuel.

SDG 13: Climate action: Most rural women in developing countries depend on natural resources for food and income. But climate change is already making an impact and reducing agricultural yields in many places. It’s projected, for example, that by 2050, climate change will have reduced wheat production by 49 percent in South Asia and by 36 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. Also, because of unequal access to land, credit, markets, inputs such as fertilizers, information and technology, rural women are disadvantaged when it comes to adopting climate change adaptation and mitigation techniques.

SDG 15: Life on Land: Many more rural women than men depend on common resources such as forests to meet household needs for food and fuel, due to inequalities in land tenure and access. As a result, they are particularly affected by forest loss, which amounted to 3.3 million hectares worldwide per year between 2010 and 2015 alone.

Links to key Australian reports on the SDGs:

Report on the Sustainable Development Goals (Australia) 2018) DFAT UN High Level Forum on Sustainable Development (2018) 



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