Celebrating Woman Power- Really???
Tomorrow the whole world will celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day. But what exactly are we celebrating? Have we really made the streets and homes safer for women? Do they actually get a fair deal at work? Are they enjoying all the human rights which they are entitled to do? It seems the right time to throw some light on the facts and figures of Gender Equality or shall we say “Inequality”? I do not intend to dampen the spirit of womanhood or the festivities. But the idea is to bring us out of our fantastic Utopic land into reality.
Crime and Gender Inequality
- At least one in every three females is a survivor of gender-based violence.
- Girls in the age group of 13-18 years are the largest contributers in the sex industry. An estimated 500,000 girls under the age of 18 are victims of trafficking every year.
- Female Genital Mutilation affects about 130 million females globally. Female Genital Mutilation is prevalent above 90% in many countries without any improvement in the situation.
- In some parts of the world, the preference for boys results in infanticide of girls.
Health and Gender Inequality
- About 1,400 women die from pregnancy-related issues every day, 99% in the developing countries.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, one in three women is at the risk of dying during child birth.
HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality
- 2/3rds of the adults with HIV/AIDS are women.
- In the Sub-Saharan Africa, females get infected earlier and faster than males.
Violence and Gender Inequality
- 15% to 71% women reported sexual or physical violence by a partner or husband in a survey.
- Many women (24% in Peru, 30% in Bangladesh, 28% in Tanzania) said that the first sexual experience they had was not consensual.
- 4% to 12% women reported of being physically abused during their pregnancy.
- About 5,000 women are murdered by the family members in the name of honor killing every year throughout the world.
- Child marriages and forced marriages which are violation of the basic human rights of females are still practiced in the many Asian countries, Middle East and the sub-Saharan Africa.
- One in five women reported that they were sexually abused as children, worldwide.
Employment and Gender Inequality
- 60% of the 550 million working poor population in the world are women.
- Women are paid less than men for the same kind of work.
- In some countries, women have to face legal restrictions and other prohibitions in doing certain kind of work.
Education and Gender Inequality
- Two thirds of 110 million children in the world who are not in school are females.
- Two thirds of 857 million illiterate adults are women.
Quite an eye-opener, I would say!!! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. This gender discrimination is as much rampant in the greener pastures of the developed nations as it is in the dry lands of the developing and the underdeveloped nations. Why else would a country which stands by the idea that “all men (women) are created equal” not have a single female President in its more than 200 years of glorious existence? Well, this is the time to look back in retrospection and find out where we have gone wrong. Make strategies to eradicate any kind of inequality and more importantly, implement them. We surely do not wish to wait another 100 years for a minuscule change. With a little bit of cooperation from the “stronger sex” it is possible, isn’t it? I can already hear all the nations of the world shouting in unison, “Yes, We Can”!!!