'Women make up half the world's population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world's poor. We live in a world in which women living in poverty face gross inequalities and injustice from birth to death. From poor education to poor nutrition to vulnerable and low pay employment, the sequence of discrimination that a woman may suffer during her entire life is unacceptable but all too common.' The Global Poverty Project. Millennium Development Goal 3 is to promote gender equality and empower women.
|Poor Children on queue for food can women be the solution to this problem?|
This MDG is critical for tackling poverty and improving prospects for women. But how can women break gender based stereotypes to minimize discrimination and reduce gender based violence when they are trapped in societies with socio-cultural practices which routinely discriminate them from having equal opportunities in education, health and livelihood? These women are invisible and the obstacles in their way prevent them from accessing the most basic human rights and needs. The outlook is bleak.
Women make up 70% of the world's working hours and earn only 10% of the world's income and half of what men earn. This leads to greater poverty, slower economic growth and a lower standard of living. In developing countries, millions of women also die each year as a result of gender-based violence. This deep-rooted gender discrimination creates a bleak outlook for women in developing countries. For millions of girls living in poverty, it is often those closest to them who work against the child's interests and their immediate environment is often dysfunctional and sometimes, downright harmful. Parents arrange marriages when you are a child. Neighbors say, if you are a girl, you must limit your activities to your home. Friends say, it is OK not to go to school. So what is the solution? The World Bank believes that 'putting resources into poor women's hands while promoting gender equality in the household and in society results in large development payoffs'. It is therefore fundamental to nurture their self confidence and empower girls and young women living in poverty to make informed choices about their own lives as well as those of their communities. Magic Bus' mentoring programme works to enable behavioral and attitudinal change for boys and girls, young people and communities living in poverty in India, focusing on education, health and gender equality. By enabling girls, the world will allow them to be equal participants, with an equal voice, with equal access to opportunities in society. Women and girls in developing countries are currently denied basic human rights, freedom, respect and dignity, so what can the world's girls do to change this? Some questions you could consider in your feature are: What role do women have to play in ending global poverty? • What role can communities play at a grassroots level to create an equal playing field for boys and girls? • What does the future hold for the girl child living in poverty? • What impact has the recent global media focus on the rape victim in Delhi had on changing attitudes and behavior towards women globally? • Why does gender equality make good economic sense? • What impact does lack of education and poor health have on a woman's prospects? • What needs to be done to address cultural and traditional discrimination against women? • How can women be enabled to break the poverty cycle and have the same rights as men?Kings Communications