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The Situation of Women in the World

March 9, 2017 · 

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Highlights from the UN Report

The Beijing Platform, a world conference on Women’s rights had the following goal.

“Seeks to promote and protect the full enjoyment of all human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all women throughout their life cycle.” Beijing Declaration
Since then there have been some progress but it is still a uphill struggle to have the goals implemented .Below some of the facts of the situation of women in the world today/.

Worldwide, men outnumber women by some 62 million. More baby boys are born than baby girls, a by-product of enduring natural selection processes. The slight male advantage in numbers at birth disappears progressively during childhood and young adulthood, owing to generally higher male than female mortality.
The rate of child marriage—a fundamental violation of human rights that limits girls’ opportunities for education and development and exposes them to the risk of domestic violence and social isolation—has declined slightly. Still, almost half of women aged 20 to 24 in Southern Asia and two-fifths in sub-Saharan Africa were married before age 18.

one-parent households, among which single mothers with children make up more than three quarters, are becoming common in both developing and developed regions.
complications linked to pregnancy and childbirth, as well as sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV, continue to take a heavy toll on the lives of adolescent girls and young women.

This is due not only to underdeveloped health systems that are unable to address women’s needs, but also to gender issues. Poor access to information and education, early marriage, and lack of decision-making power among girls who are married or in relationship increase their exposure to sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies and the risk of unsafe abortion Today, 58 million children of primary school age are out of school worldwide. More than half of these are girls and nearly three quarters live in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.

However, an estimated 781 million people aged 15 and over remain illiterate. Nearly two thirds of them are women, a proportion that has remained unchanged for two decades. Illiteracy rates are highest among older people and are higher among women than men. At age 65 and over, 30 per cent of women and 19 per cent of men are illiterate.

Women across the world are subjected to physical, sexual, psychological, and economic violence, regardless of their income, age or education. Such violence can lead to long-term physical, men- tal and emotional health problems. Around one third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.

In the majority of countries, less than 40 per cent of the women who experienced violence sought help of any sort.

Women’s reluctance to seek help may be linked to the widespread acceptability of violence against women. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to female genital mutilation across countries in Africa and the Middle East where this specific form of violence against women is concentrated.

Child marriage (marriage before the age of 18) is also found throughout the world and is ac- knowledge to be a harmful practice, as well as a manifestation of discrimination against women and girls. More than 700 million women alive today (aged 18 years and older) were married before the age of 1826 (see Chapter 1 on Population and Families). More than one in three of these women married or entered into union be- fore age 15.

In addition to suffering violence at the hands of parents, authority figures and intimate partners, children also experience violence inflicted by their peers—other children. Bullying exists
everywhere and can be physical and/or psychological in nature. Research suggests25 that boys are more likely to favor physical violence as a bullying tac- tic, while girls tend to use psychological violence.

New forms of bullying are emerging, including through cell phones and the Internet. Cyber-bul- lying includes the distribution of sexually explicit photos and videos taken of children to embarrass and shame them. The widespread access to these images and the difficulty in removing them permanently from the Internet means that this type of abuse can have long-lasting consequences.

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