While American women still earn about 77 cents for every dollar men earn and continue to work hard to close the salary gap, women in other parts of the world earn a mere 30 to 40 percent of what men do.
These are the women who never made it to a classroom, who often forgo already scarce food for themselves to feed other family members, who are unable to start their own businesses and who are likely to die in childbirth or from a preventable disease due to lack of basic health care.
The ability of families worldwide to pull themselves out of poverty -- through education, health and food security -- disproportionately rests on the shoulders of women.
Just ask Barbara Ayisa of Ghana. In her village of Affumkrom, she spends her day growing onions and maize, while taking care of her children. Her husband provides some economic support, but is engaged in other activities, leaving Barbara to manage the household. She benefitted from assistance that teaches her how to store her maize until she can sell it at the best price, earning the most she can for her family.
Last month's long overdue hearing by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) revealed that shocking, blatant attacks on working women are going on more than three decades after passage of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which requires most employers to treat pregnant women the same as other applicants or employees.
Every year, in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Women Deliver celebrates the progress made on behalf of girls and women worldwide. The “Women Deliver 50” is a compilation of the 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions that are delivering for girls and women.
Out of hundreds of submissions from 103 countries around the world, a selection committee of experts and advocates from leading global non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations narrowed the applications to 125 nominees. These were then posted online and more than 6,000 individual voted to select the 50 winners.
We would like to thank all the members of the selection committee, our partner organizations, and the voters who made the Women Deliver 50 such a success. Continue reading below to learn more about the inspiring organizations and initiatives—from the grassroots to the global–that are pioneering real and lasting social change. We hope it gives you a renewed energy to work toward building a better world for girls and women.
Near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a father doused his three teenage daughters with boiling water and shot them because, he told a court, he suspected they were having sex. Two died.
He said he killed them to defend his honor.
Murder in Iraq can carry a death sentence but under laws that activists say are far too lenient for so-called "honor killings," the father was jailed for just two years. Medical examinations showed the girls were virgins.
The light sentence was a result of Article 409 of Iraq's penal code which is often used in cases of "honor killings" by men. Women's activists in Iraq, led by the only woman in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's cabinet, Minister of State for Women's Affairs Ibtihal al-Zaidi, are lobbying to change the law.
But they say they face entrenched tribal values in a country where parliament includes many men from conservative parties.
For decades Iraqi women have enjoyed more freedoms than women in many other countries in the Middle East. They are generally free from the strict enforcement of dress codes or restrictions on movement, and can join political life.
But conservative tribal norms still prevail and all too often girls or women are punished by relatives for what are perceived to be crimes of honor.
Such cases can be difficult to document. An Iraqi Human Rights ministry report said 249 women were murdered in 2010, including for reasons of "honor crimes," without giving a breakdown. Amnesty International cites the ministry as saying at least 84 women were killed in Iraq in honor killings in 2009.
Women, Business and the Law is a World Bank report that presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees, in part drawing on laws contained in the Gender Law Library. Both resources can inform research and policy discussions on how to improve women's economic opportunities and outcomes.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), launched the Agency's new Policy on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment.
Citing its importance, Dr. Shah stated, "We know that long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential. But today, women and girls continue to face disadvantages in every sector in which we work, and in other cases, boys are falling behind. With this policy, we can ensure our values and commitments are reflected in durable, meaningful results for all."
USAID Deputy Administrator, Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development, and other senior White House officials participated in the launch.
The Polyclinic of Hope in Rwanda takes a comprehensive approach to combating gender-based violence for genocide survivors affected by HIV by facilitating support groups, encouraging income generation activities and providing HIV testing and treatment services.
This case study was prepared by the AIDSTAR-One project. As an AIDSTAR-One partner organization, ICRW provided technical oversight on this publication. The full case studies series and findings are available at AIDSTAR-One.
Saranga Jain, Margaret Greene, Zayid Douglas, Myra Betron, and Katherine Fritz 2011
ICRW conducted an evaluation of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative in India to identify early results of the program on women entrepreneurs’ business skills, practices and growth. 10,000 Women, launched in 2008, aims to provide 10,000 women who run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-quality business and management skills training. Research shows that these women are often underserved, in terms of access to business or management training and entrepreneurial networks, despite the enormous potential they have to help grow economies in developing countries.
This brief presents a summary of ICRW’s initial evaluation of the India program, which shows how the 10,000 Women program — in combination with a number of other factors — is making a difference in graduates’ businesses and lives.
This study examines how access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the economic opportunities available to poor and low-income women in India by promoting their entrepreneurial activity. What types of initiatives support small and medium enterprises for women, and through which ICTs? What factors shape a positive connection between ICTs and women’s business success? What barriers have been lifted and what opportunities realized? What types of impact are ICT-based initiatives having on women, their businesses and beyond? What promising pathways are being shaped, and what channels have yet to be explored?
This Data Snapshot highlights newly available national, state, and city data in the KIDS COUNT Data Center that shows a 25 percent increase in the number of children residing in areas of concentrated poverty since 2000. The snapshot indicates how high-poverty communities are harmful to children, outlines regions in which concentrated poverty has grown the most, and offers recommendations to address these issues.