Women :: Empowering women has positive impact on communities

Observing that empowering women has a “profound and positive” impact on the survival of communities and children in particular, the United Nations has suggested steps like providing quota for the fair sex in legislatures in order to eliminate gender discrimination.

Gender equality gives “double dividend,” benefitting both women and children and is pivotal to the health and development of families, communities and nations, the UN child agency’s latest report on ‘The State of Children’ has said.

Suggesting steps to help attain gender equality, the report stressed on the need for spending more on and creating conducive atmosphere for girls’ education as also reserving quotas for them in legislative bodies to enable them to participate in political decision making.

Of the 20 countries with most women in parliament, 17 use some form of quota system, the reports pointed out.

Estimates based on wage differentials and participation in the labour force, suggest that women’s estimated income is around 30 per cent of that of men’s in countries surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa, around 40 per cent in Latin America and South Asia, 50 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa and around 60 per cent in CEE/CIS, East Asia and industrialised countries.

“When women are empowered to lead full and productive lives, children and families prosper,” UNICEF’S Executive Director Ann M Veneman said.

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