In 415 AD Roman Egypt “Peter the Reader” a Christian radical led a mob that accosted the educational leader Hypatia while returning home. Strapped to her carriage she was strip of clothing and dragged to the Christianised Caesareum in Alexandria. In the presence of a horde of onlookers she was skinned with tiles and sea shells. The body was then torn into pieces and burned. Thousands of years have passed in the wake of that tragedy, yet those of us born female still struggle under the omen of global gender disparity.
In New York City on March 8, 2012, Newsweek and The Daily Beast’s editor-in-chief Tina Brown hosted the third annual Women in The World Summit. It was an event to celebrate women and organizations that bravely step onto the global battle arena in the ongoing war to repair the harsh realities of global gender inequities. Three generations of the world’s greatest female warriors met at the Lincoln Center in celebration of strong hearts and the power of brilliant minds. The outcries of the youngest generation in attendance were heard in the voice and song of the 16 year old Suma Tharu. Escaping servitude in her home of Nepal, her a-cappella voice rang strong and clear enfolding emotions. But within the glare of glamor and media attention remains the focus of the appalling truth of urgency for many millions of women.
The summit brought to light an update of the wins and losses in the war to achieve global gender parity. Yet the enormities of statements are only snapshots of a small place in time in the history for many women. Creating parity among the genders is not only the “human right” thing to do – it’s the smart economic thing to do. Building gender equality is fundamental to developing a strong core to successful economic sovereignty. It is intelligent economics. It is economics that becomes intuitive as to how an individual should function in achieving success. It is because of apathy that the path to gender equity has not yet been completed.
The wasteful financial cost of gender discrimination to governments has been empirically argued by the World Bank. Western cultures live a tale of two cities. In continuing to support poorly enacted women’s healthcare and educational regulatory policies, this feeds the ignorance of policy makers; while continuing a government’s underutilization and value of its workforce. Opportunity for governmental change has come. A seismic shift in world leadership is occurring this year; changing the geopolitical landscape forever.
China will undergo a 70% alteration in its cabinet and national leadership. France will be electing its 24th president. The French Republic will greet a fresh new opposition leader, Socialist Party chief Martine Aubry. From Asia to the Eurozone and the United States, new global governance is inevitable. Fundamental fiscal policies that shape how countries govern women will be altered.
More than half of the world’s universities are now attended by women. Women now own 40% of the global work force – yet still lack formidable legislative power in governments where women impacting policies are created and enforced. Often cloaked in the disguise of economic austerity measures, government programs that support woman’s needs are the first to be sacrificed. According to World Bank’s 2012 “World Development Report”, fiscal policies are the oil that lubricates the constructs of governmental and private agencies. They coop and drive the advancement of the female population in all countries. Statistics illustrate that growth in the numbers of educated women in the world has been tremendous in emerging countries. Though India and Pakistan lead, gender parity is still sluggish; or non-existent for many. Women, who are heads of households, are part of the growing pockets of poverty among ethnic and poor groups in all countries. They are more likely to be economically victimized by discrimination. The attainment of equality presents the freedom to contribute to the economic success of the country. Another roadblock to achieving this utopia is financial parity.
When discrimination is institutionalized in credit markets; and when underemployment is based on gender and economic status. This impacts the economic wellbeing of a country. Blend these realities with the inability to represent and be equally represented in government. There occurs a growing disparity in those who may achieve upward mobility and those who are doomed to be left behind.
Recently the European Union and some eastern countries have instituted gender biased budget initiatives. They are policies broadly based with a focus on the health and education of women. The initiatives have received mixed reviews partly due to its application in emerging markets. Yet it is the act of complacency in developed nations that blocks full implementation of these projects. Legislated tweaks to established policies that are female impactful, are sacrificed in the name of fiscal prudence. Even in countries where outward transformation in healthcare policies is applauded, there is endemic poverty and discrimination toward women. Amazingly the country that is being globally celebrated for its healthcare transformation has an appallingly bad track record against women’s rights. This country is Taiwan.
Economists have demonstrated that there must be total integration of female participation in all economic constructs. Without complete and seamless gender parity in all countries there can be no claim to victory over women’s rights. With equal rights the global female is able to create successful avenues of economic success; thus ensuring the welfare of her state.
“There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions.”
—Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History
Article Updated on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 at 10:23.
Gender Equality is a Must for the Welfare of the State
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