Presentation on theme: "International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. “What."— Presentation transcript:
International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. “What does a woman want?” was a question that tormented Sigmund Freud despite thirty years of research into the “feminine soul”. He felt he was never able to answer this question,
In a nutshell, women are a serious economic force to be reckoned with. Globally, women account for about $20 trillion spent annually on consumer goods; 85 percent of all consumer purchases are made by women, and women represent the majority of the online market. Seventy percent of all US and UK wealth is owned by the over 65s (who are mostly women) and it is estimated that female millionaires will outnumber male ones in the UK by 2020. By 2025, women will control 60 percent of the nation’s private we
Power of the female consumer goes on and on downplaying this extraordinary trend. Could this be because of male dominance in the boardroom (only seven percent of board members are women). The growing economic power of women consumers is irrefutable and is here to stay. How companies choose to respond to this will determine their future success. International Women’s Day serves as a timely reminder to the corporate world not to ignore the female economy. It affords us an opportunity to celebrate the economic and social achievements of women and is as relevant in today’s society as it was 99 years ago when it was first launched.
The time has come to break the silence, in a big, real, systematic and very public way, on all the human rights abuses endured by girls and women in the developing world in the name of culture and religion. There are many reasons why women’s human rights in the developing world are largely ignored by the Western world — control of the media by men is a significant one; apathy, sexism and real, unspoken racism (ie., who cares what a bunch of colored people do in a far away land) are some of the others The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees, to each and every human being, including women, the right to life, liberty, and security of person; a life free from torture.
Forced marriage, honor killings, female genital mutilation, sexual slavery, each and every one, is a violation of the rights enshrined in the U.N. declaration, rights that all human beings should fight to uphold. Committing any of these abuses is plain wrong, religious edicts and cultural traditions notwithstanding. About 25,000 brides are burned to death each year in India because of insufficient dowries. The groom's family will set the bride on fire, presenting it as an accident or suicide. The groom is then free to remarry.
The rights to life, freedom and physical integrity are universal, and sitting silently by while millions of women are being tortured, murdered, and enslaved, diminishes each and every one of us. You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women. - Jawaharlal Nehru
However much a mother may love her children, it is all but impossible for her to provide high-quality child care if she herself is poor and oppressed, illiterate and uninformed, anaemic and unhealthy, has five or si x other children, lives in a slum or shanty, has neither clean water nor safe sanitation, and if she is without the necessary support either from health services, or from her society, or from the father of her childen. - Vulimiri Ramalingaswami, "The Asian Enigma"
The persistence of hunger and abject poverty in India and other parts of the world is due in large measure to the subjugation, marginalization and disempowerment of women. Women suffer from hunger and poverty in greater numbers and to a great degree then men. At the same time, it is women who bear the primary responsibility for actions needed to end hunger: education, nutrition, health and family income. Looking through the lens of hunger and poverty, there are seven major areas of discrimination against women in India:
Malnutrition: India has exceptionally high rates of child malnutrition, because tradition in India requires that women eat last and least throughout their lives, even when pregnant and lactating. Malnourished women give birth to malnourished children, perpetuating the cycle. Poor Health: Females receive less health care than males. Many women die in childbirth of easily prevented complications. Working conditions and environmental pollution further impairs women's health. Lack of education: Families are far less likely to educate girls than boys, and far more likely to pull them out of school, either to help out at home or from fear of violence. Overwork: Women work longer hours and their work is more arduous than men's, yet their work is unrecognized. Men report that "women, like children, eat and do nothing." Technological progress in agriculture has had a negative impact on women. Unskilled: In women's primary employment sector - agriculture - extension services overlook women.
Malnutrition: India has exceptionally high rates of child malnutrition, because tradition in India requires that women eat last and least throughout their lives, even when pregnant and lactating. Malnourished women give birth to malnourished children, perpetuating the cycle. Poor Health: Females receive less health care than males. Many women die in childbirth of easily prevented complications. Working conditions and environmental pollution further impairs women's health. Lack of education: Families are far less likely to educate girls than boys, and far more likely to pull them out of school, either to help out at home or from fear of violence. Overwork: Women work longer hours and their work is more arduous than men's, yet their work is unrecognized. Men report that "women, like children, eat and do nothing." Technological progress in agriculture has had a negative impact on women.
The greatest tragedy facing humanity today is the persistence of chronic hunger - an intolerable phenomenon that takes the lives of 24,000 of us every day. For fully one-fifth of humanity, life is a daily struggle to survive in conditions of relentless poverty. Day after day, the lives of one billion individuals are cut short or terribly diminished by chronic, persistent hunger. Day after day, one billion people are denied the opportunities they need to lead healthy and productive lives.
India: An Overview India, with a population of 989 million, is the world's second most populous country. Of that number, 120 million are women who live in poverty. India has 16 percent of the world's population, but only 2.4 percent of its land, resulting in great pressures on its natural resources. Over 70 percent of India's population currently derive their livelihood from land resources, which includes 84 percent of the economically-active women
Although India was the first country to announce an official family planning program in 1952, its population grew from 361 million in 1951 to 844 million in 1991. India's total fertility rate of 3.8 births per woman can be considered moderate by world standards, but the sheer magnitude of population increase has resulted in such a feeling of urgency that containment of population growth is listed as one of the six most important objectives in the Eighth Five-Year Plan."
MATERNAL MORTALITY India's maternal mortality rates in rural areas are among the highest in the world. A factor that contributes to India's high maternal mortality rate is the reluctance to seek medical care for pregnancy - it is viewed as a temporary condition that will disappear. The estimates nationwide are that only 40-50 percent of women receive any antenatal care
MARRIAGE: Women are subordinate in most marriages. The primary duty of a newly married young woman, and virtually her only means of improving her position in the hierarchy of her husband's household, is to bear sons." Sonalde Desai points out that the perception that sons are the major source of economic security in old age is so strong in the north that "many parents, while visiting their married daughters, do not accept food or other hospitality from them. However, given women's low independent incomes and lack of control over their earnings, few can provide economic support to their parents even if parents were willing to accept it."
Over the past several decades, however, marriage patterns have changed markedly. Social, economic, and demographic developments have made marriages between close relatives less common, and the bride price has given way to a dowry system akin to that in the north. Nevertheless, as long as the underlying ethic of marriage in the south remains the reinforcement of existing kinship ties, the relatively favorable situation of southern Indian women is unlikely to be threatened."
As UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has stated, "Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance."