The Women’s Major Group (WMG) was created at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where governments recognized Women as one of the nine important groups in society for achieving sustainable development. The WMG is an official participant in the United Nations processes on Sustainable Development. Other processes use the major group or similar systems, with the WMG active in the processes of the United Nations Environment Program since 1996.
The Women’s Major Group has the responsibility to facilitate women’s civil society active participation, information sharing and input into the policy space provided by the United Nations (e.g., participation, speaking, submission of proposals, access to documents, development of sessions).
The WMG is self-organised and open to all interested organisations working to promote human rights-based sustainable development with a focus on women’s human rights, the empowerment of women and gender equality.
The policy processes of the Women’s Major Group:
The Women’s Major Group (WMG) for Sustainable Development (SD) is the focal point for UN-DESA, ECOSOC and the General Assembly for all UN Sustainable Development policies. The mandate of the WMG for Sustainable Development covers Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (formerly post-2015), including the Sustainable Development Goals and Indicators, the Technology Facilitation Mechanism and the High Level Political Forum (a key space for follow-up and review). It covers the Rio+20 outcome (SDGs, Financing for Sustainable Development, Small Island Development States SIDS, Technology). It also covers the global and regional policy processes of the United Nations.
The Women’s Major Group (WMG) on Environmental Policies follows the policy processes related to the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and those governed by UNEP such as Sustainable Consumption and Production and the Chemicals Conventions.
The WMG aims to cooperate closely with other Women’s Major Groups and Women’s constituencies linked to related UN policy processes on Climate, Biodiversity, Disaster Risk Reduction, Cities, Financing for Development, Commission on Population and Development (CPD), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and processes of the UN Regional Economic Commissions.