Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, March 05, 2007

Improving economic situation for women as key to promoting gender equity

Currently, women comprise the majority of poor throughout the world (including the United States), according to The Economist. An estimated 70 percent of the world’s poor are female, and in the United States 14 percent of women live in poverty compared to 11 percent of men. The World Bank is attempting to address this concern by focusing more of its money toward enhancing women’s economic participation. Women in industrialized countries have not fully caught up to men, and the disparity is greater in developing nations, where many institutionalized hurdles remain.

Throughout the world, women earn, on average, 22 percent less than men and have access to only a fraction of the credit. The Grameen Bank, whose founder won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, has almost exclusively targeted women with its loans and requires that property built/acquired with the loan money stays in the women’s name.

Plenty of evidence exists that shows that giving women more financial power will lead to economic development. Households where women contribute economically spend less on tobacco and alcohol and more on food. Additionally, through modernizing the economy, the “value of brute force falls,” giving rise to a more open society for women.

To read this article, click here.


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