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Women’s Issues are Societal Issues

November 30, 2015
Womens Issues

In 2020, the U.S. will celebrate 100 years since the 19thamendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote. Yet, in many countries around the world, women don’t have basic rights, and disparity between the genders is significant.

For the past decade, the Gallup Global Analytics Initiative’s Gallup World Poll has tracked critical issues that affect women and their well-being in more than 160 countries.

Recently, Gallup and its partners – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Labour Organization, and the World Bank – held a summit to discuss some of its findings.

So, what contributes to a woman’s well-being, according to their research? Three key findings have emerged, regardless of where a woman lives:

  • Employment: having a full-time job.
  • Food security: having enough food to eat.
  • Financial inclusion: having a bank account, especially a savings account. “Around the world, more than 120 million women receive their wages in cash,” noted Dr. Leora Klapper, an economist for the World Bank.

Not surprising. If you don’t have money, food, or a way to safeguard your money, it’s hard to be happy and have a positive outlook on life.

Interestingly, for both men and women worldwide, having a full-time job has the greatest affect on a person’s well-being. “It’s what everyone wants,” says Klapper.

But, while everyone wants the same thing, their ability to achieve those desires may not be possible because of their gender.

What struck me was that why, in 2015, does gender inequality still exist? (Yes, I know…this is a rhetorical question!) These are not gender issues – these are societal issues that affect us all.

Yes, we’ve made progress in the nearly 100 years since the 19th amendment was ratified, but attending conferences such as this has made me realize so much more needs to be done, both in the U.S. and globally, to ensure the health and well-being of all 7.3 billion men and women around the world.

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