This can be related to women having
fewer opportunities for health education,
unequal power in sexual partnership, or
as a result of gender-based violence.
World Equality Day is celebrated on
14April to mark the presence of inequality.
Gender equality makes our communities safer and
Unequal societies are less cohesive. They have higher
rates of anti-social behaviour and violence. Countries
with greater gender equality are more connected. Their
people are healthier and have better wellbeing
This can be related to women having fewer opportunities
for health education, unequal power in sexual
partnership, or as a result of gender-based violence.
Maternal health is also an issue of specific concern.
1. Talk to women and girls
A fundamental reason we have not yet achieved gender
equality in every realm is that women and girls’ voices are too
often excluded from global and national decision-making.
When programmes and policies are designed without
women’s needs central to their foundation, we’re setting
ourselves up to fail. If grassroots women had been
adequately consulted in designing the MDGs, decision-
makers would have been able to anticipate that girls would
still be held responsible for many home chores, caring for
younger siblings and fetching water, and have known that a
major obstacle for girls’ education is that girls are at risk of
physical and sexual assaults when they have to walk long
distances to school. Patricia T Morris, president, Washington
2. Let girls use mobile phones
The majority of girls in India don’t have access to
using basic technology such as phones and
computers because of infrastructure related
challenges and economic reasons. Increasingly
we see bans on girls using mobile phones. The
dialogue on girls’ access to Stem [science,
technology, engineering and maths] education
and women’s role in technology has not even
started to be acknowledged. Can girls and women
access equal resources, opportunities and rights
3. Stop child marriage and sexual harassment
In Bangladesh and elsewhere, child marriage is a
major impediment to girls’ education. In
Bangladesh more than 50% of girls are married
before the age of 18, and about 30% of girls 15 to
19 already have one child. If we want girls to be
able to complete education we have to end child
marriage. We also have to seriously address
sexual harassment of girls. Insecurity is one of the
reasons parents give for marrying their daughters.
It is also a major barrier to girls’ full participation in
4. Make education gender sensitive
There has been much progress in increasing
access to education, but progress has been slow
in improving the gender sensitivity of the
education system, including ensuring textbooks
promote positive stereotypes. This is critically
important for girls to come out of schools as
citizens who can shape a more equal society. In
some countries, there is a tendency to assume
that things are fine as long as there are equal
number of girls in schools. Aya Kibesaki, senior
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