Friday, February 16, 2018

The Perpetual Catching-Up Treadmill

"Over the past twenty-five years, progress has been made through, for example, legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sex with respect to inheritance and citizenship, laws that guarantee equality within the family and laws that address domestic violence."
"However, while progress has been significant, discriminatory constitutional and legislative provisions remain in place in many countries, leaving women without protection or legal basis to claim their rights."
"Where adequate sanitation facilities are lacking, for example, concerns over safety and menstrual hygiene management may keep girls away from school or compromise their learning experience."
United Nations report 
Women Poorer And Hungrier Than Men Across The World, UN Report Says
Anand Kumar saved to Human Relations & Management
Women Poorer And Hungrier Than Men Across The World, UN Report

The latest United Nations report on Turning Promises Into Action: Gender Equality in the 2040 Agenda for Sustainable Development recites a universal litany of hindrances and lack of opportunities and the will to empower women to access equality matching men's progress has been produced, its details more than adequately outlining areas where women are disadvantaged in life, failing to advance their aspirations into the future.

Global benchmarks for progress as for example eliminating extreme poverty and hunger and having all children attend school were laid out in several global benchmarks included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Some targets have seen significant progress but this study focused on women specifically and how well they are progressing, finding in its final analysis an abysmal result. In virtually every category appraised women fare worse than men.

According to the conclusions of the newly-released report, 122 women aged 25 to 34 live in extreme poverty for every 100 men within that age group also living in poverty. Women living in poor households hovers at about 12.8 percent while for men the figure is 12.3 percent, a disparity which results in roughly five million more women than men who are struggling to exist. It is more difficult for women than for men to escape poverty since women have less opportunities to access employment and economic opportunities.

Laws in some countries make it less than possible for women to inherit wealth, own land and have access to credit. When women do find employment they are frequently paid less than men performing work of equal value. Women face shorter working hours for payment since they also must look after child-rearing, housework and the preparation of family meals. Where food insecurity prevails in two-thirds of all countries women are most vulnerable.

The greatest challenges facing women is in sub-Saharan Africa where low-income women are especially vulnerable. Surprisingly enough, a like situation prevails in the United States as well, representing the sole developed country where the rate of maternal death is on the increase. One in five women and girls aged 15 to 49 report experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the past year.

On the positive side, more women attend school than previously and many remain in school longer. Across the globe, 90.8 percent of primary school-age girls were enrolled in school in 2015 in comparison with 82.2 percent in 2000, and for boys those figures were 91.9 percent of primary school-age boys were enrolled in 2015. Despite which, 15 million girls will never see the opportunity to learn to read or to write.

In Africa in particular, all these drawbacks represent an acute challenge, where 48.1 percent of adolescent girls are not able to attend school, along with 25.7 percent of girls of primary-school age. The numbers are 43.6 percent and 21.7 percent respectively, for boys.


  • Women make up more than two-thirds of the world's 796 million illiterate people.
  • According to global statistics, just 39 percent of rural girls attend secondary school. This is far fewer than rural boys (45 percent), urban girls (59 percent) and urban boys (60 percent).
  • Every additional year of primary school increases girls' eventual wages by 10-20 percent. It also encourages them to marry later and have fewer children, and leaves them less vulnerable to violence.
  • While progress has been made in reducing the gender gap in urban primary school enrolment, data from 42 countries shows that rural girls are twice as likely as urban girls to be out of school.
  • In Pakistan a half-kilometre increase in the distance to school will decrease girls' enrolment by 20 percent. In Egypt, Indonesia and several African countries, building local schools in rural communities increased girls' enrolment.
  • In Cambodia, 48 percent of rural women are illiterate compared to 14 percent of rural men.
  • Rural women's deficits in education have long-term implications for family well-being and poverty reduction. Vast improvements have been seen in the mortality rates of children less than 5 years old since 1990, but rural rates are usually much higher than urban ones.
  • Data from 68 countries indicates that a woman's education is a key factor in determining a child's survival.
  • Children of mothers with no education in the Latin American and Caribbean region are 3.1 times more likely to die than those with mothers who have secondary or tertiary education, and 1.6 more likely to die that those whose mothers have primary-level education.

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