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The UN Told, 70% of the World's Poor Are Women

The UN Told, 70% of the World's Poor Are Women

A UN-commissioned report just uncovered some surprising statistics — most women worldwide still face large-scale discrimination. In addition to the fact that 70 percent of the world's poor are women, women also own only 1 percent of the world's titled land. Fifty-three countries still allow rape within marriage.

The inequities know no boundaries, even though we sometimes associate harsher discrimination with more conservative societies. The effects, according to the report, show that women are still discriminated against in almost every country.

The author of the study focused on unjust laws, such as those dealing with divorce, marriage, and maternity benefits, that perpetuate inequality. Even basic laws — like minimum marriage age — if they're set younger for women than for men, can have huge consequences on education and quality of life. The author is calling for the creation of a UN rights investigator as a way to make repealing these laws a top priority.

Do you think extra attention from the UN would help? If you're a women, have you felt impacted by discrimination? Should the UN be focused more on improving conditions for all humans, or should women's issues have some priority?

UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Thanks for the clarification zeze. I agree with you.
zeze zeze 9 years
UnDave - my comments were more global, not meant at the US. The US is light years ahead of many parts of the world, the simple fact that we are able to have a discussion on these issues in this country puts us ahead of most of the world. I'm mostly referencing to groups who feel equality means the same, wanting to force women into roles to "equalize them" - for example, people who attack the idea of being a homemaker, while that's not my lifestyle, I think its wonderful and very progressive to let women choose what role(s) they want and support them in their free choices.
Stravs-Firebird Stravs-Firebird 9 years
megmccoy has the facts down when it comes to US law on this topic.
jnj213 jnj213 9 years
I'm taking a LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) politics class this semester and we have a female to male transgender who began the process at about 26 years old. He made it a point to note how much sexism is still around but how he had not realized it before. I guess I just felt it interesting for someone on both sides and that opinion. And I think there is a lot but we're so used to it we don't recognize it. That being said, the U.S. is at least reasonable equal in regard to law but there's always room for improvement.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I dont feel discriminated against at all.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
Nevermind, Finland is #11. Still better than the US. :P
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
I'm surprised Finland isn't on that "best" list as it's always been way ahead of most of the world when it comes to women's rights.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
10 worst:'s+Freedom.html 10 best: In terms of life expectancy, level of education and standard of living, some of the best places for women are considered to be: 1 Iceland 2 Norway 3 Australia 4 Canada 5 Ireland 6 Sweden 7 Switzerland 8 Japan 9 Netherlands 10 France (US is 12th, up from 16th in 2005) Another 'best' article -
megnmac megnmac 9 years
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the US Constitution intended to guarantee equal rights under the law for Americans regardless of sex. It was rejected. It was seen as going too far. The law still treats sex discrimination differently (less) than discrimination by race or age. We don't have lots of the problems that are out there in the world, but we still are behind many other nations in actual rights of women and are still behind in having women in leadership in our nation. Women still earn less, are represented much less in Congress, have yet to have a female President, women are living below the poverty line, less likely to have health care, and our women face systemic abuse in our country. I'm not saying we're bottom - far from it, but I don't think we're #1 on the women and equality issues quite yet...
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Actually it's Scandinavian countries that are leadign the way for women and are the best places for women to live according to recent studies, correct me if i'm wrong. the UN can't eradicate hundreds of years of teaching within cultures and societies about the role of women.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
MM - I'd have to say that America is leading the way in women's rights. Every woman in America has the ability to do whatever she wants (except fight in combat). She can stay home, or go to work, and no one thinks anything about it. I am currently my children's primary caregiver, so that my wife can follow the dream/career she wants to follow. Does anyone think less of her for that? No. Does anyone think less of me because of it? yes. zeze - I have no idea what you're talking about. Isn't that what America is trying to do?
zeze zeze 9 years
Don't get me started on this issue! The worst part of it all is that people (men) seem to always think they know what is best for a woman. You either cover her up or force her not to. You either force her to stay home, or require she work. You either give her no power, or expect all the responsibility on her. I know I'm generalizing here, but I think the biggest issue, the issue that is the key to all other issues is CHOICE - don't do what you think is best for me, let me decide what is best for me. Dealing with all these issues of rape, clothing, ownership, education separately might be the only manageable way, but we all need to realize that at the end of the day what women around the world need is autonomy, the power to decide what they want - instead of making decisions on what is best for them. ....getting off my soapbox now.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I think women everywhere have a long way to go... with the legal rapes, the stonings and the dowry burnings on the extreme end that merits the most attention. I wouldn't put America in the best or worst, we're still figuring it all out and hopefully moving forward to confront any inequities.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I wonder how America's women rank in this study. I'm betting much better than women worldwide.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
I think we all should feel somewhat discriminated against, considering even in our own country, our predominately male congress creates loopholes that allow insurance to cover Viagra but not birth control.And there is still a major pay gap between women and men holding the same position. I am extremely proud of the progress we have made here, but I think we still have a long way to go...
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