gender equality

Despite a century of the implementation of policies of gender equality "[w]omen continue to suffer serious violations of their rights" according to Ana Munoz, writing in the Cuban news service Granma.

With half of the world's population discriminated against because of their gender "[t]o be born as a woman implies being a second class citizen. Two-thirds of the planet's illiterate are women and girls; a half-million women die every year while pregnant or giving birth; two-thirds of the children who are not going to school are girls; more women suffer from HIV/AIDS than men; women work two-thirds of the total work hours, but only receive one-third of the income; 70 percent of women live in poverty."

"These statistics clearly indicate that we are still far from reaching gender equality. Women continue to suffer serious violations of their rights."

Ms Munoz also indicates that "[s]ince the Women's Conference in Beijing was held ten years ago, little or nothing has improved."

"During the conference, 189 countries signed agreements to promote the participation of women; to help give women more access to higher paying jobs; to ensure primary education for girls; and to pass laws against domestic violence."

"Unfortunately, these agreements never became more than good intentions."

Gender equality can only, ultimately be achieved with the empowerment of women through governance comprising women's and men's legislatures presided over by an executive of elders accompanied by courts of women's and men's jurisdiction.

March 16, 2006