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100 Million Women Have Disappeared — What Can You Do?

Women around the world face dangerous systemic discrimination. Unequal access to necessities like medical care and food, in addition to violence and neglect, has contributed to the disappearance of as many as 100 million women in the developing world.

One woman sitting behind her computer screen in the so-called first world might not be able to do anything to reverse embedded inequality, but being aware of the plight of women might be the first step. Canadian economist Siwan Anderson hopes that tracking down the names and ages of missing women will help shine a light on the deadly gender inequality in places like India, China, the Middle East, and Africa.

President Obama brought up the treatment of women in his speech last week in Cairo. Obama said: "I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality." Women need more than words: perhaps Obama could promise not to support a cease-fire agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan until they make concessions regarding women's rights, such as allowing women access to education and health care.

Should we call on our own leaders to help save women from premature deaths by putting pressure on developing countries, or should powerful nations decline to meddle in other cultures and social structures?


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