Women in Today's World

Granma (Cuba)
March 07, 2006

Ana Munoz

Half of the world's population is discriminated against because of their gender. To 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.

Since 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.

Education is one of the keys to overcome differences. The life of a woman who has access to education is completely different from that of a woman who is deprived of this universal right. A girl who goes to school will marry later, have fewer children, pay more attention to her family and will be more active in the community. Education can break the vicious circle of poverty. Having an education and economic independence are two fundamental factors for women that help in the overall development of the community.

(Excerpts from the Rebelión website)


Every year, 2 million girls suffer genital mutilation.

At least 1 out of every 4 women suffer from domestic abuse.

Every 12 seconds a women is abused by her husband, boyfriend or lover. In the United States it happens every 9 seconds.

Abuse against women happens in all cultures, ages, nationalities and social levels.

93 percent of the victims of domestic violence are women.

64 percent of all women will be abused at some point in their lives.

60 percent of women that are beaten are pregnant.

40 percent of women who are murdered know their attacker.

The greatest cause of injury to women are beatings, they occur more frequent than car accidents, assaults and rape put together.

Only 1 percent of women that are beaten at home report the abuse.

40 percent of women who are beaten by their husbands have put up with this kind of abuse for 20 years, dealing with the physical, emotional and psychological damage that it entails.

In the work space, 1 out of every 5 working days that women miss is related to domestic violence.

60 million women and girls die due to violence every year.


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