Water is life, and sanitation and hygiene are the basis of health. Yet worldwide, 748 million people don't have access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people don't have basic sanitation. Each MDG can be advanced by greater inclusion of proper WASH practices, and there is more work to be done.
Sustainable development, climate change, population, and reproductive health are interconnected and the solutions must match this complexity. A successful climate action plan must include a strong commitment to women's empowerment and reproductive health as one of the pillars to address the great climate change and environmental challenges of our generation.
The debate on Sustainable Development Goals, which are to replace the Millennium Development Goals in 2015, is reminiscent of a Winnie-the-Pooh-approach to measuring development. Do you want your poverty measure disaggregated by region or by gender? Both, and don't bother worrying about the measurement please.
When the leading cause of death among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 is pregnancy and childbirth; when two-thirds of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa are among adolescent girls; and when 200 million women want to use family planning methods but lack access, the young girls and women of the world do not have a promiscuity problem -- they have a human rights problem.