1111Kadiyam Kavya sensitizing girls on menstruation

At a time when global organisations are increasingly focusing on gender equality, a new United Nations report shows that there is little groundwork. The report, called “Turning Promises Into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, demonstrates gender-based discrimination across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is gender equality itself.

As part of the 2030 Sustainable Development mission, the report gauges how gender diverse or dominated each of the parameters like poverty, hunger, health, education, clean water and sanitation etc fare.

And the results of the report shows how women globally are represented as poor, hungry, under-nourished and uneducated as compared to men. Unsurprising as it is, it is the slow growth that is baffling to say the least.

  • On the poverty quotient, 330 million women and girls live on less than US$1.90 (approx. Rs 122.34) a day, that’s 4.4 million more than men. Poverty rates by sex in Central and Southern Asia are 15.8% for women and 14.5% for men. Considering that men outnumber women in terms of population, women are four per cent more likely than men to live in extreme poverty. And don’t live under the impression that the gender gap is anyway lowering as the report states that it is increasing to 8% in Central and Southern Asia.
  • While women are responsible for preparing food traditionally in the household, they are the ones to experience food insecurity more than men. The report claims, “Central and Southern Asia is the region with the largest gaps, with women being four per cent points more likely than men to report food insecurity.”

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  • On the other hand, when it comes to water collection, women and girls collect water in 80% of the world’s households without access to water on premises.

Need for gender data

The report presses on the need for gender data and trend data as lack of it hinders assessment and monitoring of the direction and pace of progress for women and girls. “Unless gender is mainstreamed into national statistical strategies, gender data scarcity will persist.”

One in five women and girls under the age of 50 report experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period

  • In terms of gender equality, the report found out that husbands can legally prevent their wives from working in 18 countries. In 39 countries, daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights; and 49 countries lack laws to protect women from domestic violence.
  • Globally, one in five women and girls under the age of 50 report experiencing physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period. In Central and Southern Asia, the corresponding figure is 23.1%.

When it comes to promising sustainable cities and communities, the report says that while the population is progressing into urban realm with more opportunities, the risks corresponding to it are also increasing for women and girls.

  • More than 50% of urban women in developing countries live in conditions where they lack at least one of these—access to clean water, improved sanitation facilities, durable housing or sufficient living area.

Fifteen million girls of primary-school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to 10 million boys.

More women parliamentarians

On a positive note, women are holding up more power positions in the parliaments as before. As of Sept. 2017, there are 23.7 women parliamentarians which has increased by 10 per cent from 2000. Worldwide, primary schools enrolled 90.3 per cent of school-age girls in 2015, compared with 82.2 per cent in 2000.

However, one can very well see how little the progress is while the inequality is beyond limits.

Picture credit- The Hindu

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