'Leave No One Behind': Gender, Sexuality and the Sustainable Development Goals

Evidence Report (IDS)
Authors: 
Mills, E.
Publisher: 
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Publication date: 
Friday, 16 October, 2015

This report argues that to work towards inclusive development that addresses social exclusion, development actors need to shape and implement development policies that ensure: (i) that all people irrespective of their sexuality and gender identity are actively protected against social, economic and political forms of discrimination; and (ii) that health, education, and social protection resources that contribute towards individual wellbeing and overall socioeconomic development are made available to all those in need, leaving no one behind. It highlights that the post-2015 era presents an opportunity for learning how past frameworks have excluded marginalised groups, deepening rather than alleviating poverty. As such, the SDGs can and should be used to build a world that prioritises inclusive development; a world where the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ translates into practical actions to ‘do development’ better. This includes visionary and collaborative work across international, national and local development actors that (i) translates the principle of ‘leave no one behind’ into the practice of inclusive development at a national level, and (ii) ensures that those creating and implementing development programmes are held accountable at a local level, to increase transparency and accountability and to address the deepening of poverty among those already marginalised on the basis of their gender and sexuality. Generating inclusive strategies to address inequality for all population groups, including people who identify as queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, is not only about taking human rights seriously, but very much about recognising that this has positive social and economic outcomes for countries that take poverty alleviation seriously for everyone.

To work towards inclusive development that addresses social exclusion, development actors need to shape and implement development policies that ensure:

  • That all people irrespective of their sexuality and gender identity are actively protected against social, economic and political forms of discrimination.
  • That health, education, and social protection resources that contribute towards individual wellbeing and overall socioeconomic development are made available to all those in need, leaving no one behind. 
Opendocs reference: 
oai:opendocs.ids.ac.uk:123456789/7104