30 March 2010

a woman's worth

[M]arket liberalization and stabilization programs are the functional equivalent of "low-intensity warfare, except instead of soldiers dying there are children, instead of millions of wounded there are millions of unemployed, instead of destruction of bridges there is tearing down of factories, schools, hospitals and entire economies"
~ Luis Ignacio Silva
(West Africa 28 August, 1993; cited in "Gender Equity and Women Empowerment in Africa" )

What happens when women are educated and empowered?

revolutionary change

I posted about the Girl Effect in a previous post about the importance of women in development. Last night I was reading an article that reinforced for me the incredible horrors of poverty in the developing world and especially the disparity between genders. The importance of educating women to the well-being of families, communities and nations is unbelievable!

Did you know:

Women are 6x as productive as men in an hour's work
Educated women farmers in Kenya increase productivity by 24%
1-3 years of education for mothers decreases infant mortality by 15%
The child of a Zambian mother with basic education has a 25% greater chance of survival
African women provide 80% of the labor for subsistence production

women still account for 64% of illiterate adults--only 89 women can read for every 100 men
in 2006, the gender wage gap was 30-40% in some countries
70% of the world's poor are females
"in no society do women fare as well as men in political and economic opportunities"

So the question is:
what are we going to do about it?

photo taken in Guatemala 2009
all statistics cited from
Geo-JaJa et al (2009). "Gender Equity and Women Empowerment in Africa: The Education and Economic Nexus." Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Education

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