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Plan International

Founded over 70 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest international development agencies in the world. They work in 49 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. Plan directly supports more than 1,500,000 children and their families, and indirectly supports an estimated further 9,000,000 people who live in communities that are working with Plan. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations. Its publication 'Because I'm a Girl' highlights the many inequalities faced by girls in developing countries. See the new 2009 publication on girls in the global economy!

Women and African Economic Development

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Women are a cornerstone of African economic development. According to recent estimates, they provide approximately 70 per cent of agricultural labour and produce about 90 per cent of all food. Women’s economic activity rate, which measures the percentage of people who furnish the supply of labour for the production of economic goods, ranks highest compared to other regions of the world (including the OECD countries) with a value of 61.9. However, women are predominantly employed in the informal sector or they occupy low-skill jobs. This can be illustrated by considering the percentage of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector, which scores lowest among all regions of the world with a value of only 8.5 per cent.

Women's Media

Founded in 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation is a vibrant global network dedicated to strengthening the role of women in the news media worldwide as a means to further freedom of the press.

Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto (21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was Pakistan's first female prime minister and the first woman elected to lead a Muslim State. Educated in Pakistan, the United States, and England, Bhutto was destined for a political career. Her government was dismissed twice on account of corruption, but she was credited for putting greater focus on modernisation of the economy and for giving more attention on women's issues. Bhutto had campaigned for greater gender equality, voicing concern for women's social and health issues, including the issue of discrimination against women. She was assassinated whilst campaigning for the 2008 elections.

Megawati Soekarnoputri

Diah Permata Megawati Setiawati Soekarnoputri (1947 - ), was the first female President of Indonesia, ruling from July 2001 to October 20, 2004. She was the first Indonesian leader born after independence and is the daughter of Indonesia's first president, Sukarno. Her family name soon insured that she become a symbol of popular resistance - so much so that in 1996, then President Suharto tried to remove her as leadaer of her party, provoking demonstrations in the capital. In 2004, she was ranked number 8 on Forbes Magazine's list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women.

Gender Equality in Bahrain

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The Bahrain Constitution of 2002 provides equal rights to men and women. While it can be noted that the situation of women has improved in many areas, it continues to be affected by patriarchal norms and traditions in other areas (as indicated by the country’s poor SIGI Rank). Women’s educational attainment is high, often above that of men, but their employment opportunities are limited. As a consequence, female unemployment is almost twice as high as male unemployment. Changing the traditional outlook on the role of women both in society and the workforce is seen as the main challenge in the first MDG report of Bahrain.

Different gender reactions to unemployment

According to research carried out by the Office of National Statisics (ONS) in the United Kingdom, published January 22 2009, unemployed men are feeling more "discouraged" than their female counterparts. Men feel more despondent and negative about their prospects of finding another job whereas more women see unemployment as an opportunity to retrain and reskill. Psychologists point to the different gender expectations facing men and women as well as the different coping mechanisms of women to periods of stress.

Women and Water: The Forgotten Glass Ceiling

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Water is the most common substance on earth, covering over 70% of the earth’s surface. Though there are about 1.4 thousand million cubic kilometers of water on earth, only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh. Less than 1% of the earth’s freshwater is readily accessible for direct human use. Scarcity of usable water has assumed alarming proportions due to pollution, misuse, and due to the fact that the cost of developing new supplies is prohibitive. Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.

Women in Development Europe (WIDE)

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Women in Development Europe (WIDE) is a European network of development NGOs, gender specialists and human rights activists. It monitors and influences international economic and development policy and practice from a feminist perspective. WIDE’s work is grounded on women’s rights as the basis for the development of a more just and democratic world order. WIDE strives for a world based on gender equality and social justice that ensures equal rights for all, as well as equal access to resources and opportunities in all spheres of political, social and economic life.

Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)

The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) is an international, multi-generational, feminist, creative, future-orientated membership organization committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights. AWID members are researchers, academics, students, educators, activists, business people, policy-makers, development practitioners, funders, and more.

The Financial Women's Association (FWA)

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The Financial Women’s Association (FWA) brings together high achieving professionals from every sector of the financial world. FWA is dedicated to developing future leaders, enhancing the role of women in finance, and investing in the community.

Gender Equality and Decent Work

Decent Work policies are needed to protect the rights of vulnerable workers, such as women in developing countries. Decent work refers to the ability for men and women to a certain quality and standard of experience in the workplace which ensures respect for their human dignity and which upholds the principles of equity, including gender equality. Decent work encompasses factors such as income opportunities, social protection and social security, employment rights, and gender equality. The four strategic objectives of 'decent work' identified by the UN agency responsible for labor laws, the International Labor Organisation (ILO) are: fundamental principles and rights at work and international labour standards; employment and income opportunities; social protection and social security; and social dialogue and tripartism.

Gender Equality in Spain

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Spain has recently introduced pioneering legislation to uphold principles of gender equality in private and public life, and to combat against gender violence. The predominantly female cabinet appointed in 2008 under Prime Minister Zapatero is setting new standards for female political participation. This has not yet trickled down to employment conditions for the majority of women, where the salary pay gap is high and working women are obliged to juggle both employment and family responsibilities due to prevailing traditional stereotypes.

Women and Sleep

Medical experts suggest that most men and women need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Yet there are many differences in the sleeping patterns of men and women. Men in general require less sleep than women. Women tend to sleep more on average but sleep less deeply and are more prone to sleep disorders, including insomnia. During their 20s and 30s, women also complain of being sleepy during the day, a possible symptom of the work and family responsibilities they face in this period.

Women for Women International

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Women for Women International is a non-governmental organisation that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. Women for Women International mobilizes women to change their lives through a holistic approach that addresses the unique needs of women in conflict and post-conflict environments. They work in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, Sudan, Iraq, Rwanda and Nigeria.

OECD Family Database

The OECD Family database, introduced by the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS), features cross-national indicators on family policies and outcomes. The initial phase of indicators presents updated information building on the OECD Babies and Bosses series on the reconciliation of work and family life, including indicators on maternal employment, the nature and extent of childcare participation, and public support and information on parental leave policies. Other indicators have been drawn from various “in-house” sources such as the OECD Social Expenditure database, OECD Benefits and Wages, OECD Labour Force Statistics and the OECD Education database, as well as databases maintained by other (international) organisations.

U.N Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict

UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) unites the work of 12 UN entities with the goal of ending sexual violence in conflict. It is a concerted effort by the UN system to improve coordination and accountability, amplify programming and advocacy, and support national efforts to prevent sexual violence and respond effectively to the needs of survivors.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike

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Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916-2000) was twice elected Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). She became the world's first elected female prime minister in 1960. A staunch socialist, Bandaranaike nationalized key sectors of the economy such as banking and insurance. Although adulated for many years, she suffered a crushing electoral defeat in 1977 despite her high international standing. She was the wife of a previous Sri Lankan prime minister, Solomon Bandaranaike, whom she replaced after his assassination by a buddist monk, and the mother of Sri Lanka's third prime minister, Chandrika Kumaratunga.

Gender and Philanthropy

Are women or men the more generous sex when it comes to philanthropy? Trends in philanthropical giving have changed in the past decade. According to consulting firm, Grant Thornton, American women gave almost $5-billion more than their male counterparts in 2005, the last year for which such data are publicly available. This result contrasts with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)'s 1997 study which showed that men donated nearly $3-billion more than women. Giving by women overall in 2005 reached $21.7-billion while men overall gave $16.8-billion.

Gender Equality in Nepal

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The Nepalese constitution of 1990 guarantees all citizens basic human rights and fundamental freedom, but statutory laws that still discriminate against women can be found in the area of property rights and family law. The social status of women and their relative equality with men varies between different ethnic groups. Yet, in most communities, women’s position is governed by patriarchal traditions and conventional assumptions of women’s role in society are slow to change. A woman’s place is generally in the home where her main duties include childrearing and household related chores. Women’s access to education is limited and they have very few opportunities to engage in activities that would provide them with a greater degree of economic freedom. Their employment outside of the home is often tied to the agricultural sector or the textile and weaving industries.

Wage Gaps Between Men and Women

According to data of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, average median wages for men in OECD countries are 15% higher than those for women. At one end, male median earnings are 20% higher than women in Korea, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States while at the other end, the wage gap is less than 12% in New Zealand, Belgium, Poland, Greece and France. These figures are for full-time employment and do not take into account part-time employment, which is more popular among women. Other factors that might lead to the disparity between male and female wage are discrimination and types of jobs. Many OECD countries have legislation that ensures equal pay, but obviously there is a divide.

Gender Equality in the United States of America

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The United States was ranked 27th in the 2008 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum. The pay gap between men and women is considerable and political participation of women at higher levels of government remains low, despite the important increases of female heads of department under the current administration. Commitment to gender equality is evident through legislation passed in the 60s and 70s protecting women's rights, and there remains great activism amongst women's organisations to improve the rights and opportunities for women of all ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Gender and Governance

The participation of women in politics is a human right and a development goal. When women participate in politics, there are benefits for women, men, children, communities and nations. Governance does not refer only to political participation but is defined (by the UNDP) as "the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in managing a country's affairs. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests; exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences." This definition stresses the need to look at formal as well as informal participation and involvement in political and economic processes, that is looking at the role of the state as well as those of civil society, non-governmental organisations and other institutions.

Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice

The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice is an international women’s human rights organization advocating for gender-inclusive justice and working towards an effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC). It works globally to ensure justice for women in an independent and effective International Criminal Court. The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice advocates for inclusion of gender based crimes in the investigations and prosecutions of the ICC and promotes the rights of women victims/survivors of armed conflict throughout the justice process including through the Trust Fund for Victims

The Ms. Foundation for Women

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Founded in 1973, the Ms. Foundation for Women is the first and leading women’s fund and foundation engaged across the United States to build women’s collective power to ignite change. The Ms. Foundation delivers strategic grants, capacity building and leadership development to organizations at local, state, Tribal and national levels working for policy change and culture change across the broad areas of women’s health, economic justice, ending violence and building democracy. The foundation fosters alliances among women’s organizations and other social justice groups to strengthen and expand the breadth and power of social justice movements.

Gender Equality in Turkey

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With the foundation of the Republic in 1923, Turkey has experienced rapid social and political transformation. Ensuring the equality between men and women; state support for women in entry into the public sphere; restructuring the legal system; efforts to transform the social traditions and values which were inherently discriminatory are some of the main axis of this transformation.

National Council for Research on Women

Founded in 1982, the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) is a network of more than 100 leading U.S. research, advocacy, and policy centers with a growing global reach. The Council employs the resources of its network to ensure fully informed debate, policies, and practices to build a more inclusive and equitable world for women and girls. he Council has published on domestic and global issues including: "Gains and Gaps: A Look at the World's Women", "Balancing the Equation: Where are Women and Girls in Science, Engineering, and Technology?"; and "MISSING: Information About Women's Lives".

Would more female CEOs have prevented the financial crisis?

The financial world of the City and Wall Street are typically male-dominated zones, where very few women have been able to break through the glass ceiling and ascend the corporate ladder. The New York Times columnist, Nicholas D. Kristof, has argued recently that the financial crisis may have been avoided if more women were at the decision-making helm.. Reporting from the World Economic Forum in Davos (January 2009), Kristof reflected on "whether we would be in the same mess today if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters.”

Johanna Sigurdardottir

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On 1 February 2009, Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland's longest serving MP, became Iceland's first prime minister and the first openly gay prime minister in the world. She takes the leadership of the country in the midst of a financial crisis that sparked protests in the streets of Iceland after the collapse of their banking system and the rapid depreciation of the currency. Her stated priorities include debt relief for the most vulnerable, a revision of the banking system, and the establishment of a parliarmentary committee to explore the possibility of joining the European Union.

Golda Meir

Golda Meir (1898-1978) was the fourth elected Prime Minister of Israel, the first woman to hold this position in Israel and only the third woman to hold that position in the world. She is often described as the 'hard lady' of Israeli politics even before the expression was applied to the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Her time as prime minister were marked heavily by the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics (1972) and the criticisms of the Israeli preparedness for the Yom Kippur War with Egypt and Syria. (1973)

Gender and Television

Television has played an important role in the gender wars. Decades after its invention, television continues to polemicise due to the presence of stereotypes perpetuating traditional images of women. The representation of males and females on the television screen has been a subject of much discussion since the television became commercially available in the late 1930s. In 1964, the feminist Betty Friedan claimed that “television has represented the American Woman as a “stupid, unattractive, insecure little household drudge who spends her martyred mindless, boring days dreaming of love—and plotting nasty revenge against her husband.”

Affirmative Action

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Affirmative action refers to policies intended to promote access to education or employment for discriminated groups. Motivation for affirmative action policies is to redress the effects of past and current discrimination and to encourage public institutions such as universities, hospitals and police forces to be more representative of the population. This is commonly achieved through targeted recruitment programs, by preferential treatment given to applicants from socio-politically disadvantaged groups and in some cases through the use of quotas.

OECD Family Database

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The OECD Family database features cross-national indicators on family policies and outcomes. The initial phase of indicators presents updated information building on the OECD Babies and Bosses series on the reconciliation of work and family life, including indicators on maternal employment, the nature and extent of childcare participation, and public support and information on parental leave policies. The structure of the database organises indicators into four general areas: family structure; the labour market position of families; public policies towards families and children; and child outcomes.

Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies

The Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies is a non-profit organisation which promotes and contributes to projects of social, political, and economic themes relating to gender. The Institute recognises the multilayered levels of discrimination and is committed to eliminate discrimination using a combination of research, advocacy and lobbying, as well as trainings, conferences, and other activities. MIGS aims to act as a main contributor to the intellectual, political, and socio-political life of the region as this relates to issues of gender and to do so using a multidisciplinary approach and in collaboration with other institutions.

Gender Equality

Gender equality describes the absence of obvious or hidden disparities among individuals based on gender. Disparities can include the discrimination in terms of opportunities, resources, services, benefits, decision-making power and influence. Gender is a social construct which is based on social roles, not sexual differences per se. The dichotomous nature of gender lends to the creation of inequality that manifests itself in numerous dimensions of daily life. This includes income disparities linked to job stratification, gender roles in parenting and marriage, and gendered media.

Feminization of Poverty

The feminization of poverty is a change in the levels of poverty biased against women or female headed households. More specifically, it is an increase in the difference in the levels of poverty among women and men or among female versus male and couple headed households. It can also mean an increase of the role that gender inequalities have as a determinant of poverty, which would characterize a feminization of the causes of poverty. It is a relative concept based on a women-men comparison, where what matters are the differences between women and men at each moment.

Reconciling Work and Family Life

With greater investment in education, female aspirations and female labour market behaviour has changed so that "dual-earnership" in couple-families has become the norm in many countries. The rise in "dual earnership" and sole-parent households means that finding an optimal balance between work and family commitments has become an issue for almost all parents. Governments are spending more money to help families reconcile work and family life than before. But policies are often not sufficient, especially if there are ‘gaps’ in support.

Missing Women

In the late 1980s, Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Amartya Sen coined the term "missing women" to describe the large number of women in the world who are literally not alive due to family neglect and discrimination. He argued that in certain countries the cultural preference for boys potentially has led to a terrible mistreatment of young girls, if not female infanticide. In 2005, Emily Oster suggested that Hepatitis B could explain part of this phenomenon as carriers of the virus have offspring sex ratios of 1.5 boys for each girl. She recenty refuted her own findings based on additional research.


The term polygamy (a Greek word meaning "the practice of multiple marriage") can be defined as any form of marriage in which a person has more than one spouse. Polygamy frequently involves one man having multiple wives, which makes it particular relevant in the context of gender equality as women in polygamous relationships are often disadvantaged in terms of their personal development (e.g. less access to education and health care). Research shows that polygamous households in the developing world tend to have a lower saving and investment rate, which make them more vulnerable to poverty.

Life Expectancy

Female life expectancy is considerably higher than those of men, especially subtracting the effect of maternal mortality. Reasons for this are manifold and fall into two groups: social and biological. Reasons for this are manifold and fall into two groups: social and biological reasons. Proponents of the former argue that men usually consume more tobacco, alcohol and drugs than females and are thus prone to related health problems. Proponents of the latter argue that men are more likely to be a victim of traffic accidents and violent deaths, e.g. wars and capital crimes.

Gender, Institutions and Development

The relevance of social norms for gender equality can be illustrated in many parts of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of women work in the agricultural sector, but patriarchal traditions often deny them the right to own and manage the land they cultivate. Some countries in the Middle East and North Africa require women to have a male accompany them when leaving the house, making it difficult for women to attend educational facilities and engage in business activities independently.

Freedom of dress

Freedom of dress describes the freedom to wear the clothes of one's choice, i.e. without outside pressure, prohibition or legal sanctions. In many countries, this freedom is highly restricted, especially for women (e.g. the obligation to wear a veil or headscarf). Although sometimes enforced by formal (i.e. legal) mechanisms, freedom of dress is generally limited due to informal institutions such as social norms, traditions or religious practices. These are subject to change, as the case of Afghanistan illustrate, where the burqa is now optional for most women.

Social Institutions and Gender Index

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The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) is a composite indicator of gender equality, introduced by the OECD Development Centre. It solely focuses on social institutions that have an impact on the equality between men and women. Social institutions comprise norms, values and attitudes that exist in a society in relation to women. SIGI is based on a selection of indicators from the Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base. In particular, it uses information on social institutions variables that are classified into family law, physical integrity, civil liberties and ownership rights.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) began funding population programs in 1969. UNFPA is the world's largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. The Fund works with governments and NGOs in over 140 countries with the support of the international community, supporting programs that help women, men and young people plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancies, undergo pregnancy and childbirth safely, avoid sexually transmitted infections, combat violence against women and promote the equality of women.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

On November 25 the United Nations invites governments, international organisations and NGOs to organise activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on this day as an international observance. Women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence, and the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

International Labour Organization (ILO) and Gender Equality

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the global body responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards. Working with its Member States, the ILO seeks to ensure that labour standards are respected in practice as well as in principle. ILO is devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues. In promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, the organization continues to pursue its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent jobs and the kinds of economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.

Women in Sports

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Female participation in sports rose dramatically in the twentieth century, especially in the latter part, reflecting changes in modern societies that emphasized gender parity. For most of human history, athletic competition has been regarded as an exclusively masculine affair. Although the level of participation and performance still varies greatly by country and by sport, women's sports have broad acceptance throughout the world, and in a few instances, such as tennis and figure skating, rival or exceed their male counterparts in popularity.

Women and African Economic Development

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Women are a cornerstone of African economic development. According to recent estimates, women provide approximately 70 per cent of agricultural labour and produce about 90 per cent of all food. Women’s economic activity rate ranks highest compared to other regions of the world with a value of 61.9. However, women are predominantly employed in the informal sector or they occupy low-skill jobs. The weak status of women in the formal economy of Africa has many reasons. Insufficient access to key resources such as education and health are two important contributing factors.

International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics)

The International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics) is an online workspace designed to serve the needs of practitioners interested in advancing women in politics. It is a joint project of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.


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The 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) defines gender-based discrimination and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. Discrimination is defined as "...any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field."

Gender Equality in Panama

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The Constitution of Panama prohibits all forms of discrimination, but various cultural, political and social restrictions undermine women’s ability to exercise their rights. Despite new laws and legal amendments that improve the situation of women, legislative inequalities remain, particularly affecting housewives and women in rural communities. Since the 1990s, the size of households in Panama has generally declined. During the same period, the percentage of households headed by women has increased, and is higher in urban areas than in rural regions.

Information Guide for Arab Millennium Development Goal Reports

The Information Guide for Arab Millennium Development Goal Reports is a report published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA). The booklet presents the main outcomes of the project "Toward more gender-responsive Millennium Development Goal (MDG) monitoring and reporting in the Arab region". The project aims to forge a common understanding among stakeholders on ways to engender quantitative monitoring and reporting on the MDGs, particularly the identification of priority regional gender issues and the development of gender-sensitive measurements in Arab countries.

Access to property

Property is defined as things commonly recognized as belonging to a person or group. Important types of property include real property, personal property, and intellectual property. Women are often discriminated against in their access to property. This includes: the legal incapacity for women to sign contracts, married women needing their husbands to co-sign on or approve any purchase or administration of property, and women unable to inherit property. Even if there is no legal discrimination, de facto discrimination concerning the access to property can be important due to cultural traditions.

Access to bank loans

In many countries, not all citizens have access to loans, especially those given by banks. Wealthy people and poor people, as well as men and women, do not have the same access or rights to bank loans or other forms of credit. This contributes to an imbalance in society and in many instances, creates or enforces a hierarchal structure. Many women and poor people cannot secure a loan because they do not have the neccessary collateral. In Cameroon and Ethiopia, some banks demand the husband's guarantee as one of the conditions for granting a loan to a married woman.

Empowering Women through Microfinance

Microfinance programs have been increasingly promoted for their positive economic impact and the belief that they empower women. Women’s empowerment is a process in which women challenge the existing norms and culture, to effectively improve their well-being. Most microfinance programs target women with the explicit goal of empowering them, arguing that investing in women’s capabilities empowers them to make choices, which will contribute to greater economic growth and development, and furthermore an increase in woman’s resources results in higher well-being of the family, especially children.

Gender Equity Index

The Gender Equity Index (GEI) was introduced by the Social Watch in 2004 to measure inequities in different areas of women's and men's everyday lives around the world. The 2008 GEI ranks 157 countries by measuring women's relative economic activity, education and empowerment. According to the GEI, in no country do women enjoy the same opportunities as men, irrespective of a country's income level. Although over the years some aspects of women’s situation have improved their opportunities in economic and political areas are still clearly limited.

Working Patterns in Couple Households

The challenge of combining family and professional life is one that affects the whole family. Even in the western countries of Europe, it is now increasingly the case that a single earned income is insufficient to meet the needs of a family; as a result both parents often have to work from financial necessity. In addition, women today have better levels of education and often do not wish to entirely give up their careers to have a family. For both mothers and fathers, a successful reconciliation of work and family life is still not certain in most countries.

Income Inequality and Poverty in the OECD

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The gap between rich and poor has grown in more than three-quarters of OECD countries over the past two decades. A key driver of income inequality has been the number of low-skilled and poorly educated who are out of work. More people living alone or in single-parent households has also contributed. Some groups in society have done better than others. A 2008 publication entitled "Growing Unequal?" finds that the economic growth of recent decades has benefitted the rich more than the poor and analyses the causes of inequality.

Gender and Firm Performance

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With financial support from Iceland, Germany and Switzerland, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and IFC are implementing a research and consultation project to help private enterprises worldwide create new opportunities for women and adopt best practices in sustainability reporting. Visit Wikigender's Corporate Social Responsibility and Gender to learn more about how gender can affect companies' performance. We look forward to your contribution to produce a new practical resource guide intended for companies that want to establish themselves as leaders in managing gender issues.

Gender Equality in Iceland

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Fostered by a high level of human development (Iceland topped the United Nations’ Human Development Index in 2007), gender equality is very advanced in Iceland compared to most countries in the world. The country placed fourth in the 2007 Global Gender Gap Index, published by the World Economic Forum. Advances in gender equality have not happened by chance. Iceland supports gender equality through central regional and national bureaus that oversee the implementation of anti-discrimination laws.

Gender Equality and Financing for Development

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Financing for gender equality is a critical part of the discussion on financing for development, in that sustainable economic growth and human development require women’s full participation in the economy, making it necessary to tailor development finance to the needs of both women and men. The 2002 Monterrey Consensus encouraged a gender sensitive development approach, calling for gender-sensitive investments in social and economic infrastructure, microfinance directed to women, and gender sensitive business approaches.

Gender Equality in Malta

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The Republic fo Malta is currently the smallest EU country in both population and area. Independent since 1964 (a British colony since 1814), Malta is a popular tourist destination, financial centre and freight transhipment point. Women are under-represented in government, the civil service and the judiciary (sparking conflict with the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly in 2007). Significantly, while the pay gap between men and women is relatively small, female activity rate is low by European standards.

Fourth World Conference on Women

The United Nations convened the Fourth World Conference on Women on September 4-September 15, 1995 in Beijing, China. Delegates had prepared a Platform for Action that aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women. The principal themes were the advancement and empowerment of women in relation to women’s human rights, women and poverty, women and decision-making, the girl-child, violence against women and other areas of concern. The resulting documents of the Conference are the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Gender Law

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The legal and regulatory environment within a country can often have a significant impact on the ability of women to engage in business activities and become entrepreneurs. Labor laws, property rights, family law, and inheritance rights all have the ability to affect female entrepreneurs differently from male entrepreneurs. For example, land tenure can often have a significant impact on the ability of women to conduct business. Having proof of land ownership to use as collateral can determine whether women are able to access credit to start or expand their businesses.This article explores the intersection between gender issues and the legal and regulatory environment, with a particular focus on laws that impact the economic status of women.

Arranged Marriage

An arranged marriage is a marriage arranged by someone other than the persons getting married, curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship. Such marriages are not uncommon in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and Asia. The term "arranged marriage" also applies if parents do not have a direct involvement in selecting the spouse. The match could be selected by a matchmaking agent, marriage websites, or trusted third party. In many communities, priests or religious leaders as well as trusted relatives or family friends play a major role in matchmaking.

World's Women 2008/2009

Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009: Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability" is a report by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). It shows that realising women’s rights and achieving the Millennium Development Goals depends on strengthening accountability for commitments to women and gender equality. In order for women’s rights to translate into substantive improvements in their lives, women must be able to fully participate in public decision-making at all levels and hold those responsible to account when their rights are infringed or their needs ignored.

Gender Equality in Saudi Arabia

Religion affects all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia. Sunni Muslims - about 90% of the population – are governed by conservative interpretations of Islam. Women continue to face discrimination in most areas of society. They have fewer rights than men in family matters; their freedom of movement is restricted; and their economic opportunities and rights are limited. Saudi Arabia also applies rules of strict gender segregation and unrelated men and women are separated in all public places.

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