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Ear to the Ground

Tracking the Status of the World’s Women

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Posted on Mar 8, 2010
Indian women
Flickr / mckaysavage

To mark International Women’s Day, Ms. magazine has helpfully broken down some femme-focused reports from the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, detailing how the global group’s Platform for Action empowerment program is faring after 15 years and describing the challenges and gains that women around the world are facing in 2010. Fittingly, the iconic feminist mag’s also magnified its Web presence with the launch of Ms. Blog on Monday.  —KA

Ms. Blog:

Poverty: Twenty-five percent of the world population was living in extreme poverty as of 2005, compared to nearly 50 percent in 1990. But this heartening progress has been stalled, and may even be reversed, by the global economic crisis, which is expected to keep 73- to 100-million more people in poverty and disproportionately push women into economically vulnerable work. See the Millenium Development Goals Report 2009.

Education: Not as much progress here. Fifty-four percent of girls are out of school, compared to 57 percent in 2002 and 64 percent in 1990. Women make up two-thirds of the world’s illiterate. See the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2002, 2010.

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By faith, March 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

I am feeling very hopeful for women.  There is increased media exposure and
concern for women’s welfare and growth.  There is new awareness of some of the
horrific acts against women and there is change concerning such acts against
women.  Years ago it was acceptable to consider them second class citizens.  That
is no longer the case.  More societies, are beginning to recognize that keeping
women down diminishes the productivity of the community as a whole.  Yep,
times are a changin’, to quote a poet - Dylan.

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By gerard, March 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

As ong as women are economically dependent on men (their husbands or fathers or male dominators) they will not have equal rights.  In fact, they may have no rights at all if they want to eat, have a roof over their heads nnd raise their children safely.

Male abuse of women is despicable and cowardly, but far too common.  In many places it is permissable.  As long as women have to depend upon men for food, clothing and shelter they have no way to escape or fight back.

Cultural change is slow, but economic independence can speed it up some.

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