Equality for Women is progress for all

It is well known that entrepreneurship accelerates economic development, and economic development brings healthier societies, better education models, and peace. Unfortunately, social barriers, discrimination practices, and economic abuse hinder women’s ability to perform under the same circumstances than male entrepreneurs, restraining survival skills, taking away income-earning options; diminishing their role in the economy and social change.

What happens when the elders make girls and young women feel unsafe if they leave the house, go to school or try to find a job? When patriarchal protagonists constantly blame female “liberal conduct and female exposure” for sexual harassment at school or work?

The consequence of such social behavior is that women see themselves not suited for participating in economic activities, they feel undervalued and unsafe, afraid of becoming the next victim; restricting their possibility to contribute to the household economy and community development.

Economic inequality opens the possibility for women to become victims of domestic violence, exploitation, and trafficking;[1] because it establishes an imbalanced relation between spouses and family members (domestic violence is not solely related to spouses it is also among parents/children, siblings, elders etc.); and generates “patterns of coercive control”[2] against women, better known as economic abuse, a non-physical manifestation of domestic violence.

Equality is the cornerstone of progress, studies show that there is a link between economic empowerment and violence against women (VAW), noticing that the more consolidated economic independence is among women the lesser risk of VAW exists. What is more, when household decisions and economic independence is shared equality the risk of VAW is almost non-existent[3] supporting the thesis that gender equality deters violence against women.

Did you know?

  • Women continue to earn less pay for work of equal value.
  • Approximately 128 countries have laws that prevent women from participating fully in society.
  • Around 800 women die every day due to childbirth and pregnancy related situations.
  • 1 in 3 girls and women are victims of violence every day.
  • Over the next decade, 100 million girls will become child brides.

The fact is that when women and girls live their lives in an equal, peaceful, violence-free environment, they build better skills to actively participate in the economy and contribute to local development and progress.

That is why “Equality for Women is Progress for All”.

Want to know more?

“Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the MDG for Women and Girls” -UN Secretary General’s Commission on the Status of Women- 12/2013.

 

[1] Press Release WOM/1390 05/03/2003 http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/wom1390.doc.htm

[2] UK Study on DV costs.

[3] GSDRC helpdesk research report: VAW and political empowerment 2011 htto://www.grsdrc.org/docs/open/HD746.pdf

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