Spotlight on gender equity and empowerment of women today.
Yesterday, my good friend Tiffany sent me through a video The Girl Effect: The Clock is Ticking. Worth a look- go on, check it out and I will wait here until you return.
So how was it?
In the Millennium Development Goal (MDG), the United Nations (UN) have set a target to Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015. From the video and thinking about this, already the symbiotic relationship between these MDG should be more clear. These are not stand alone stove-piped objectives.
So why should I care? This year I am also an Ambassador for the White Ribbon Foundation which looks at Australian men stepping up to end violence against women. Earlier this year, another friend of mine April, informed me about the atrocious prevalence of rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DROC). Rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war and control. Statistics so high that they top the world. Nothing to boast about.
As an Ambassador of the White Ribbon Foundation, I would hope that these statistics are seen as ugly as they are, and that through this we men can reflect this back into our own communities and behaviours. If it is not ok for us to put up with violence against women here in Australia, why should it be any different in DROC? We should be outraged!
Back to what the UN have to say about this MDG 3:
- For girls in some regions, education remains elusive
- Poverty is a major barrier to education, especially among older girls
- In every developing region except the Commonwealth of Independent States, men outnumber women in paid employment
- Women are largely relegated to more vulnerable forms of employment
- Women are over-represented in informal employment, with its lack of benefits and security
- Top-level jobs still go to men — to an overwhelming degree
- Women are slowly rising to political power, but mainly when boosted by quotas and other special measures
So what should we make of this? It would seem that there is an opportunity to advance this forward through much of the excellent advocacy and game changing approaches through microfinance groups by organisations like the IWDA.
The video presents an opportunity. Can we harness this? And when will we consider those women and girls subjected to appalling conditions of rape and sexual violence as neighbours within our broader global village, the global ‘dongnae’ (Korean for village)?
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