Let us first understand the fact that Gender Equality is a human right. Women are entitled to live with dignity, and are free to whatever they desire, without fear. Achieving Gender Equality will also help us in achieving development and reducing poverty: When women become empowered they show productive growth in health, and generate awareness towards their family’s development, children growth, improve their health care practicesand in turn helps the development of the community, this further improve their living standards and give a better future for the next generations. Inspite of understanding the fact that women empowermentwill reduce poverty, promote development of the community and the nation as a wholeand promoting this will also help us in addressing one of the most urgent challenges, gender equality remains to be an unresolved issue even today.
Global World, Global Attention, Global Situation
With the end of 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remains to be unachieved, with them expiring, the failure to achieve women empowerment remains an issue with us today. Thus, to address such global issues, the world leaders met on 25th September 2015 in United Nations Headquarters in New York and adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (which is also known as Post – 2015 Agenda for Development). This new agenda comprised of 17 SustainableDevelopment Goals (SDGs), which will guide this new policy for the next 15 years. As of today, there are some useful statistics with respect to the goals number three of the MDGs.
- In 2015, women make it about 41% working in other fields outside agriculture (mostly odd jobs), which was an increase as compared to 31% recorded in 2001
- Globally, women continue to remain a major disadvantage in the labour market. Due to unfavourable job work, their participation in the workforce is very less as compared to men. In 2015, only 50% of the entire women in the population (between the age of 15 and 65) contributed in the labour force, as compared to 77% of men.
- Now coming to education, one of the greatest improvements have been seen in primary education. Globally, 64% of the developing nations were able to achieve gender parity in primary education. It was one of the most substantial progress made in South Asia.
- Today, more than 90% of the nations have women members in the parliament as compared to the statistics recorded 2001, but still today, only one in five members is a woman.
Our Expectations – When Girls Empower, We Empower.
Educated girls are not only healthy, they have the ability to transform their communities and they educate their kids well, and then the knowledge gets passed on to their grandchildren and so on. However, on the contrary, women are still treated as a second class in our community; while girls are mostly ignored. They have no status of their own, they have no protection and they have no prospects towards their families and their communities and this vicious cycle continues even today. Inequality is deep within our society and thus we have left with few to question it.
The importance of girl education is accepted by every policy maker in the globe. This is exactly what the SDG number 5 talks about. It talks about ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, eliminating all harmful practices such as early and forced marriage, and many other goals which the nations will accept to achieve in the next 15 years.
Everyone has a right to education, but today, approximately 62 million girls in the world are out of school, and girls face enough struggle already when they are in classroom. Every day girls are forced out of school, married in a very early age, and are often prone to violence. And yet it has been repeatedly proven that girls are able to lift themselves and everyone around themout of poverty. For every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase by 15 to 25% and if ten per cent more girls attend school, a country’s GDP increases by average of 3%.
“A girl who receives more educations is six times less likely to be married as a child and her children are more likely to go to school themselves. Last, but not least, each year of a mother’s schooling cuts infant mortality by between 5 and 10%. The facts are clear. When you empower a girl through education, she will change the world for everyone around her. But without an education, girls are more likely to marry young, have children early, and spend their life in poverty.”
Featured Image Credits: http://www.savethechildren.org/
Article Contributed By:
Anant Mishra is former youth representative United Nations. He has served in number of committees including United Nations Conference for Trade and Development and United Nations General Assembly primarily focusing on international trade, middle east crisis, education, finance, economics. He can be reached on anantmishra92@
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