There are many developing countries where women are not even listed in any citizen registration database,which makes it very difficult for them,especially the poorer ones in rural areas and of under privileged class to assert social security,protection,legacy etc as there is practically no proof of their existence.Through their empowerment women can gain greater share of control over resources-material,human and intellectual such as knowledge,information,ideas and financial resources.
Market economy trends in the new era of globalization have widened the gap between education and the technology opportunities for men and women.Worldwide the capacity of women to engage in the knowledge society is grossly underutilized. In the knowledge society,they need access not only to new technologies but also to education,entrepreneurship and employment opportunities as well as the ability to participate fully in knowledge based activities.
Though women constitute nearly half of the world population but even in the 21st century,nowhere in the world they are placed at par with men either socially or economically. For this matter" Women empowerment"issue has always remained very important for policy planner and social activist organisation.
Women in Agriculture
In rural India, the percentage of women who depend on agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 84%. Women make up about 33% of cultivators and about 47% percent of agricultural laborers. In 2009, 94% of the female agricultural labor force in crop cultivation were in cereal production, while 1.4% worked in vegetable production, and 3.72% were engaged in fruits, nuts, beverages, and spice crops.
Women's participation rate in the agricultural sectors is about 47% in tea plantations, 46.84% in cotton cultivation, 45.43% growing oil seeds and 39.13% in vegetable production.While these crops require labor-intensive work, the work is considered quite unskilled. Women also heavily participate in ancillary agricultural activities. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Indian women represented a share of 21% and 24% of all fishers and fish farmers, respectively.
Gender's energy compare to women
- Agriculture: In India, the typical work of the female agricultural laborer or cultivator is limited to less skilled jobs, such as sowing, transplanting, weeding and harvesting, that often fit well within the framework of domestic life and child-rearing. Many women also participate in agricultural work as unpaid subsistence labor.
- Small Scale industries: In the small scale industries we can take the example of Indian Hand loom industry which is great source of income for women. there are various others side as well where where we focus on women that is construction sites,,teaching and staffing etc
- In corporate sector: Girls are no longer lag behind boys in access to education right up to the tertiary level although women's enrollment in technical and vocational schools is still slow. Women's entry as employees in the professional and technical category has been increased. In India, there are many managerial position are being hold by our women.
The next important area where we focus on women only is midwifery and nursing unit.It is the area where we cannot think without a woman. In this category a special attention and care are required which is being only done by a Woman. Women are more focused
- kind and nurturing.
- love you with all her heart.
- willing to make compromises.
Women are key for a national ability to develop education and it is fundamental right. It is one of the most important instrument in achieving gender justice.Equal access to education for men and women in all fields of studies is main objective.women access to science and technology increases the number of technical and vocational schools.
We focus on women only because...
Today, so many initiatives focused around women and girls, the conversations around the importance of focusing on women may feel trendy. It is estimated that 250 million adolescent women/girls live in poverty and are more likely than boys to be uneducated, married at a young age, and exposed to HIV/AIDS
some more points are.
- When a girl in the developing world receives seven years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
- Worldwide, nearly 50% of all sexual assaults are against girls aged 15 years or younger. There is a strong correlation between sexual assaults and prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, 76% of young people aged 15-25 who live with HIV are female.
- Girls from poor families are nearly twice as likely to marry before 18 than girls from wealthier families. This is concerning in multiple dimensions. For example, child brides have a pregnancy death rate double that of women in their twenties.
United States have join hands with its allies to “eradicate” extreme poverty over the “next two decades” by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women.
Putting an end to extreme poverty requires providing opportunities for all individuals, especially women, to thrive through education, nutrition, and health. In order to achieve this goal, a greater emphasis must be placed on gender equality and the removal of barriers that disproportionately affect women.
The number of people worldwide living in extreme poverty fell by more than 800 million. Yet barriers to prosperity still remain such as inequality and discrimination against marginalized populations and new challenges continue to emerge that impede goals to reduce poverty.
Approximately 1.3 billion people still don’t have access to electricity, and overcoming the lack of reliable sources of energy is an absolute hurdle to getting out of poverty. Other threats to the economic well-being of individuals and families including climate change endanger development gains and threaten to reverse them. The most disadvantaged and poorest of the poor have not received the same benefits of development.
Any poverty agenda must focus on women because they are 70 percent of the world’s poor. Women comprise two-thirds of the global illiterate population and all women face additional hurdles to their economic and social well-being, including the pay gap and the fact that women are much more likely to hold vulnerable jobs.
Because women constitute the majority of the world’s poor and because development goals have not been achieved particularly where gender inequality thrives women’s empowerment and gender equality must be focused and focus on women only is because the vital role of women in sustainable development has long been recognized. The 1995 Beijing Declaration from the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women and the 1992 Rio Declaration recognized that empowering women is essential to sustainable development. Yet gender discrimination continues to be a key driver.
While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
We focus on women for:
- End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
- Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
- Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
- Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.
- Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.
- Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
- Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
- Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels
To achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress. As of 2014, 143 countries have guaranteed equality between men and women in their Constitutions.
Regardless of where people live in, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys.
Women’s and girls’ empowerment is essential to expand economic growth and promote social development. The full participation of women in labor forces would add percentage points to most national growth rates.
Men and women are both equal and both play a vital role in the creation and development of their families and the society in general. Gender equality and women empowerment should be treated as a universal goal, not just a distant vision for the future to be had by women. Eliminating inequity and gender biases against women serves the world by empowering and enabling women to reach their potential, and the disparity between men and women permeates every society across the globe. Women have been victims of inequity and discrimination across many facets of society ranging from unequal access to education, an increasing burden of poverty, unequal access to health services, and disproportionately represent victims of violence and sexual abuse.
Focus on women is a matter of concern and a condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development and peace. A transformed partnership based on equality between women and men is a condition for people-centred sustainable development. A sustained and long-term commitment is essential, so that women and men can work together for themselves, for their children and for society to meet the challenges of the twenty first century
The unfortunate reality is that women experience many barriers barring them from enjoying the same freedoms to the same extent of their male counterparts. Women around the world have less access to healthcare than men; including forms of health care specific to women. Women overwhelmingly experienced gender violence more often than men. There are fewer women in positions of power and the amount of women who are appointed to government positions and senior positions in organizations is disproportionate to the amount of men. In general there is a disregard for the respect of women in society and their human rights. The United Nations has developed some effective global efforts in order to combat inequality, yet the discrimination persists. As a result of this, women around the world still suffer gender-based violence, are mistreated, undervalued, perceived as inferior, and systemically as well as physically barred from upper mobility in their professional lives, and in society.
The standard for the embodiment of women’s rights is not universally accepted in practice. There are nations that are regularly witness the violations of women’s rights. In 1950, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) created the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). It was established “as the first global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Instrumental in monitoring the status of women's rights worldwide and shaping global standards on gender equality, the Commission brings together Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities to assess gaps and evaluate progress on an annual basis.
Focus on women
Despite many international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They have less access to property ownership, credit, training and employment. They are far less likely than men to be politically active and far more likely to be victims of domestic violence.
It is essential that women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. This means sharing equally in the distribution of power and influence, and having equal opportunities for financial independence, education and realizing their personal ambitions.
Focus on women is required for the empowerment of women, with a focus on identifying and redressing power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives. When women are empowered, whole families benefit, and these benefits often have a ripple effect on future generations
The roles that men and women play in society are not biologically determined. They are socially determined, changing and changeable. And while they may be justified as being required by culture or religion, these roles vary widely by locality and evolve over time. Efforts to promote women’s empowerment should ensure cultural consideration are respected while women’s rights are upheld. Focusing on women also requires recognizing that women are diverse in the roles they play, as well as in age, social status, geographic location and educational attainment. The fabric of their lives and the choices available to them vary widely.
Reproductive health: The ability of women to control their own fertility is fundamental . When a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life. Protecting and promoting her reproductive rights – including the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of her children – is essential to ensuring her freedom to participate more fully and equally in society.
In addition, for both physiological and social reasons, women are more vulnerable than men to reproductive health problems. Collectively, complications of pregnancy or childbirth are the number two killer of women of reproductive age. Failure to provide information, services and conditions to help women protect their reproductive health constitutes gender-based discrimination and is a violation of women’s rights to health and life.
Economic empowerment: Six out of 10 of the world’s poorest people are women. Economic disparities persist partly because much of the unpaid work within families and communities falls on the shoulders of women, and because women continue to face discrimination in the economic sphere.
Educational empowerment: About two thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Lack of an education severely restricts a woman’s access to information and opportunities. Conversely, increasing women’s and girls’ educational attainment benefits both individuals and future generations. Higher levels of women's education are strongly associated with lower infant mortality and lower fertility, as well as better outcomes for their children.
Political empowerment:Focusing on women cannot be achieved without the backing and enforcement of institutions. But too many social and legal institutions still do not guarantee focus on women in basic legal and human rights, in access to or control of resources, in employment or earnings, or in social or political participation. And men continue to occupy most positions of political and legal authority; globally, only 22 per cent of parliamentarians are women. Laws against domestic violence are often not enforced on behalf of women.
Girls’ health and well-being are being threatened by child marriage. Marriage is often followed by pregnancy, even if a girl is not yet physically or mentally ready. In developing countries, nine out of 10 births to adolescent girls occur within a marriage. In these countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19. Here we have focus on women and remove this tradition of child marriage to save girls from these bad ritual and allow them to attain desired education and life.
Girls who are married may also be exposed to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. When girls marry, they are often forced to drop out of school so they can assume household responsibilities. This is a denial of their right to an education. Early marriage also limits their opportunities, including future employment prospects, and has long-term effects on their families. Girls who leave school have worse health and economic outcomes than those who stay in school, and eventually their children fare worse as well.
We focus on women only is also because of gender bias.
Sex selection is not new. Census data from India, for example, show an imbalance in sex ratio among children in the early 20th century. Such disparities almost always reflect a preference for sons.
In the past, son preference may have resulted in the neglect or killing of female infants. However, since the early 1980s, ultrasounds and other technologies have enabled parents to detect the sex of a foetus during prenatal screenings. Those who prefer sons may arrange to abort female foetuses. This has accelerated sex-ratio imbalances at birth in parts of the world. It is estimated that, over the past generation, tens of millions of female foetuses have been aborted.
Son preference reflects discriminatory socio-economic practices and traditions. For example, in some places, sons alone inherit property, and they alone are expected to care for ageing parents, conduct funeral rites and carry on the family name. Meanwhile, daughters may be considered a burden, particularly if an expensive dowry is required for them to get married.
Such traditions place huge pressure on women to produce sons. Some women may even face abandonment or violence if they have daughters instead of sons. Studies have shown that unwanted girls may endure neglect or be deprived of opportunities – creating a further disincentive for mothers to have daughters.
Some countries in Asia and South Asia have outlawed the use of modern technologies for sex-selection purposes. However, such prohibitions are often difficult to enforce, and they could drive demand for these technologies underground.
Tackling the root cause of sex selection – gender inequality – may be more effective, and it yields benefits for all of society. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of families and communities and improve prospects for future generations. Awareness of their value and contributions is essential to changing behaviours.
Strong political commitment and community-level action are also needed. Access to education and reproductive health services helps to empower women and improves their health, productivity and status. Other policies can also play a key role.
This is seen most acutely in developing countries, where reproductive health problems are a leading cause of ill health and death for women and girls of childbearing age. Impoverished women suffer disproportionately from unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion, maternal death and disability, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), gender-based violence, and other related problems.
Reproductive health is a lifetime concern for women , from infancy to old age. Evidence shows that reproductive health in any of these life stages has a profound effect on women's health later in life.
are closely linked to issues of human rights. A pregnant girl who is pressured or forced to leave school, for example, is denied her right to an education. A girl who is prevented from accessing contraception or reproductive health information is denied her right to health.
At the same time, girls who are vulnerable are more likely to become pregnant. In every region of the world – including high-income countries – girls who are poor, poorly educated or living in rural areas are at greater risk of becoming pregnant than those who are wealthier, well-educated or urban. This is true on a global level, as well: 95 per cent of the world’s births to adolescents (girls aged 15-19) take place in low- and middle-income countries. Every year, some 3 million girls in this age bracket resort to unsafe abortions, risking their lives and health.
Girls who lack choices and opportunities in life, or who have limited or no access to sexual and reproductive health care, are more likely to become pregnant. Girls forced into child marriage – a violation of their human rights – are also more likely to become pregnant. In developing countries, nine out of 10 births to adolescent girls occur within a marriage or a union
Birth of Global Feminism
In 1985, the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, was held in Nairobi. It was convened at a time when the movement for gender equality had finally gained true global recognition, and 15,000 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated in a parallel NGO Forum.
The event was described by many as “the birth of global feminism”. Realizing that the goals of the Mexico City Conference had not been adequately met, the 157 participating governments adopted the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies to the Year 2000. The document broke new ground by declaring all issues to be women’s issues.
The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2017, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.
The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. On one hand, we have globalization, technological and digital revolution and the opportunities they bring, and on the other hand, the growing informality of labour, unstable livelihoods and incomes, new fiscal and trade policies and environmental impacts—all of which must be addressed in the context of women’s economic empowerment.
In 2015, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, placing gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Achievement of the goals, including ending poverty, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reducing inequalities within and between countries, and achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, rests upon unlocking the full potential of women in the world of work.
Measures that are key to ensuring women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work must include bridging the gender pay gap, which stands at 24 per cent globally; recognizing women’s unpaid care and domestic work and addressing the gender deficit in care work; as well as addressing the gender gaps in leadership, entrepreneurship and access to social protection; and ensuring gender-responsive economic policies for job creation, poverty reduction and sustainable, inclusive growth.
Additionally, policies must count for the overwhelming majority of women in the informal economy, promote women’s access to innovative technologies and practices, decent work and climate-resilient jobs and protect women from violence in the work place.
On International Women’s Day, UN Women calls upon all actors to Step It Up for Gender Equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030.
Focus on women:
- When more women work, economies grow. An increase in female labour force participation—or a reduction in the gap between women’s and men’s labour force participation—results in faster economic growth.
- Evidence from a range of countries shows that increasing the share of household income controlled by women, either through their own earnings or cash transfers, changes spending in ways that benefit children.
- Increasing women and girls’ education contributes to higher economic growth. Increased educational attainment accounts for about 50 per cent of the economic growth in OECD countries over the past 50 years, of which over half is due to girls having had access to higher levels of education and achieving greater equality in the number of years spent in education between men and women But, for the majority of women, significant gains in education have not translated into better labour market outcomes
- A study using data from 219 countries from 1970 to 2009 found that, for every one additional year of education for women of reproductive age, child mortality decreased by 9.5 per cent
- Women tend to have less access to formal financial institutions and saving mechanisms. While 55 per cent of men report having an account at a formal financial institution, only 47 per cent of women do worldwide. This gap is largest among lower middle-income economies as well as in South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa
The world of work
- Women continue to participate in labour markets on an unequal basis with men. In 2013, the male employment-to-population ratio stood at 72.2 per cent, while the ratio for females was 47.1 per cent
- Globally, women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60 to 75 per cent of men’s wages . Contributing factors include the fact that women are more likely to be wage workers and unpaid family workers; that women are more likely to engage in low-productivity activities and to work in the informal sector, with less mobility to the formal sector than men; the view of women as economic dependents; and the likelihood that women are in unorganized sectors or not represented in unions.
- It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76 per cent if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion
- Women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work. Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men; 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care (for children, elderly, and the sick), and 1 to 4 hours less a day to market activities . In the European Union for example, 25 per cent of women report care and other family and personal responsibilities as the reason for not being in the labour force, versus only three per cent of men This directly and negatively impacts women’s participation in the labour force.
- Women are more likely than men to work in informal employment . In South Asia, over 80 per cent of women in non-agricultural jobs are in informal employment, in sub-Saharan Africa, 74 per cent, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, 54 per cent . In rural areas, many women derive their livelihoods from small-scale farming, almost always informal and often unpaid
- More women than men work in vulnerable, low-paid, or undervalued jobs . As of 2013, 49.1 per cent of the world’s working women were in vulnerable employment, often unprotected by labour legislation, compared to 46.9 per cent of men. Women were far more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment in East Asia (50.3 per cent versus 42.3 per cent), South-East Asia and the Pacific (63.1 per cent versus 56 per cent), South Asia (80.9 per cent versus 74.4 per cent), North Africa (54.7 per cent versus 30.2 per cent), the Middle East (33.2 per cent versus 23.7 per cent) and Sub-Saharan Africa (nearly 85.5 per cent versus 70.5 per cent).
- Gender differences in laws affect both developing and developed economies, and women in all regions. Almost 90 per cent of 143 economies studied have at least one legal difference restricting women’s economic opportunities . Of those, 79 economies have laws that restrict the types of jobs that women can do. And husbands can object to their wives working and prevent them from accepting jobs in 15 economies .
- Women’s economic equality is good for business. Companies greatly benefit from increasing leadership opportunities for women, which is shown to increase organizational effectiveness. It is estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational effectiveness
- Women comprise an average of 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, varying considerably across regions from 20 per cent or less in Latin America to 50 per cent or more in parts of Asia and Africa , Despite the regional and sub-regional variation, women make an essential contribution to agriculture across the developing world.
- Women farmers control less land than do men, and also have limited access to inputs, seeds, credits, and extension services . Less than 20 per cent of landholders are women . Gender differences in access to land and credit affect the relative ability of female and male farmers and entrepreneurs to invest, operate to scale, and benefit from new economic opportunities .
- Women are responsible for household food preparation in 85-90 per cent of cases surveyed in a wide range of countries
The green economy, sustainable development
- Women, especially those in poverty, appear more vulnerable in the face of natural disasters. A recent study of 141 countries found that more women than men die from natural hazards. Where the socioeconomic status of women is high, men and women die in roughly equal numbers during and after natural disasters, whereas more women than men die (or die at a younger age) where the socioeconomic status of women is low. Women and children are more likely to die than men during disasters .
- Women and children bear the main negative impacts of fuel and water collection and transport, with women in many developing countries spending from 1 to 4 hours a day collecting biomass for fuel. A study of time and water poverty in 25 sub-Saharan African countries estimated that women spend at least 16 million hours a day collecting drinking water; men spend 6 million hours; and children, 4 million hours. Gender gaps in domestic and household work, including time spent obtaining water and fuel and processing food, are intensified in contexts of economic crisis, environmental degradation, natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure and services
Various forms of violence against women
- It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime .
- Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence.
- Although little data is available—and great variation in how psychological violence is measured across countries and cultures—existing evidence shows high prevalence rates. Forty-three per cent of women in the 28 European Union Member States have experienced some form of psychological violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- It is estimated that of all women who were the victims of homicide globally in 2012, almost half were killed by intimate partners or family members, compared to less than six per cent of men killed in the same year.
Measures to address violence
- In the majority of countries with available data, less than 40 per cent of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort. Among women who do, most look to family and friends and very few look to formal institutions and mechanisms, such as police and health services. Less than 10 per cent of those women seeking help for experience of violence sought help by appealing to the police
- At least 119 countries have passed laws on domestic violence, 125 have laws on sexual harassment and 52 have laws on marital rape. However, even when laws exist, this does not mean they are always compliant with international standards and recommendations or implemented
- Availability of data on violence against women has increased significantly in recent years. Since 1995, more than 100 countries have conducted at least one survey addressing the issue. Forty-four countries undertook a survey in the period between 1995 and 2004, and 89 countries did so in the period between 2005 and 2014, suggesting growing interest in this issue. More than 40 countries conducted at least two surveys in the period between 1995 and 2014, which means that, depending on the comparability of the surveys, changes over time could be analysed
Violence among vulnerable groups
- Evidence suggests that certain characteristics of women, such as sexual orientation, disability status or ethnicity, and some contextual factors, such as humanitarian crises, including conflict and post-conflict situations, may increase women’s vulnerability to violence .
- In 2014, 23 per cent of non-heterosexual women (those who identified their sexual orientation as lesbian, bisexual or other) interviewed in the European Union indicated having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by both male and female non-partner perpetrators, compared with five per cent of heterosexual women .
- Also, 34 per cent of women with a health problem or disability reported having experienced any physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime, compared to 19 per cent of women without a health problem or disability, also based on data from the European Union.