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Please note: this event has passed

Please note this event has been cancelled owing to Wednesday's planned strike action.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were introduced at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in 2012. They were then developed into 17 concrete goals in 2015 to provide a common policy framework and shared goals for world development between 2015-2030, including the fifth goal, ‘Gender Equality’.


Over the past decade, the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’ has gained global recognition and support, with quantifiable evaluation tools designed to simplify complex information for each goal, allowing progress to be focused, measured and compared across borders over time. However, the agenda to achieve gender equality varies across regions, with different contextualised priorities and trends of progress.


With this in mind, China provides a vivid case that showcases the limitations and future improvements of the SDG framework in delivering Gender Equality. This talk will address the following four questions:

  1. How and why were the Sustainable Development Goals created?
  2. What are the conceptual, technical and political challenges of turning ideas and aims into concrete measurements?
  3. Does the SDG framework adequately address the practical needs of gender equality and women’s empowerment? What problems does it address, and what are its limitations?
  4. Are there new ideas and approaches to complement or replace the SDGs?


About the speaker

Dr HE Yuan is a lecturer at the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London (UCL) and co-leads the "Asia Prosperity Research Hub" at the institute. She earned her undergraduate degree at Nanjing University and went on to pursue MPhil and PhD degrees in Development Studies at Cambridge University. In addition, she has studied or researched at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Nanjing University-Johns Hopkins University Centre for Chinese and American Studies, and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India. Her most recent research collaboration is with the Indian Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the trajectories and transitions of developing countries; feminism and feminist democracy; public value creation and innovation; and the imagination, design, and practice of prosperous human lives; with particular area focus on China, India and South Korea.

Event details

Room 1.05
Bush House South East Wing
Strand, London WC2R 1AE