Gender inequalities are still deep-rooted in every society. Women suffer from lack of access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. In many situations, they are denied access to basic education and health care and are victims of violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes.
Did you know that women reinvest 90% of their income into the family, compared to 30 to 40% by men?
This means women spend more on their children, food, shelter, and education which creates long-term social and economic gains for their communities. This makes them an integral part of ending the cycle of poverty.
Women need to be empowered because of the responsibilities they take in society.
Unhappy women mean unhappy societies. Women must be protected from any form of abuse and exploitation if society and communities are to achieve any meaningful progress.
Women in rural areas must be psychologically empowered in order for them to realize that they can live happy lives without relying on men to provide for them. Women need economic empowerment for them to be able to find the basics themselves. They need to be politically empowered for them to be active in decision making in whatever issues that involve their lives.
By empowering women to participate in growth opportunities, developing countries will accelerate their economic and social development.
As well as the obvious social benefits, there are also significant economic benefits to the advancement of women’s equality, with McKinsey estimating that it could add $12 trillion to global economic growth by 2025. However, while this number might seem big, it pales in comparison to the true economic impact gender equality stands to achieve.
1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.
Violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV.
Over 700 million women alive today were married as children.
There are 5,000 so-called honor killings reported every year around the world. Experts estimate that the actual number of “honor” killings is much higher.
30% of females globally have reported that their first sexual experience was forced.
58% of new HIV infections among young persons in 2015 occurred among adolescent girls and young women. Violence or the threat of violence affect the ability of girls and young women to protect themselves from HIV.
Women between the ages of 15 and 44 are at a higher risk of rape and domestic violence than cancer, car accidents, malaria or being injured in war.
Less than 40 per cent of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort. In the majority of countries with available data on this issue, among women who do seek help, most look to family and friends and very few look to formal institutions, such as police and health services.
Child marriage often results in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupts schooling, and increases a girl’s risk of experiencing domestic violence.
At least 200 million women and girls, aged 15–49 years, have undergone female genital mutilation in 31 countries where the practice is concentrated.
School-related gender-based violence is a major obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls.
Source: Global estimates by WHO.