Sign Up

Women and Globalization

Where do women stand in some of the most important global issues of the day?

November 28, 2005

Where do women stand in some of the most important global issues of the day?

Women are still struggling for equal treatment in many countries. Whether it is access to healthcare, education, the labor market or political rights, women often receive less of a share than men. And yet, women make vital contributions to society that men often take no part in. Our Globalist Factsheet takes a closer look at women around the world.

Why is women's education key to development?

A single year of primary education correlates with a 10-20% increase in women’s wages later in life. And an extra year of a women’s education has been shown to reduce the risk that her children will die in infancy by 5-10%.
(Council on Foreign Relations)

Is Iran making good use of its pool of highly educated women?

In Iran, women comprise more than 50% of college graduates — but just 14% of workers.
(Business Week)

What is the impact of HIV on young women?

As of 2004, young women comprised 75% of those between the ages of 15 and 24 who are infected with HIV globally.
(U.S. National Intelligence Council)

Could African economies function without the contributions of women?

In Uganda, women produce roughly 80% of food crops, 60% of traditional exports such as coffee, tea and cotton, and as much as 80% of non-traditional exports such as maize, vanilla and chilies — but only own 7% of the land.
(Financial Times)

How are U.S. women choosing between work and family?

The participation rate of women in the U.S. workforce climbed steadily after World War II, reaching 60% in 1999. By January 2005, it had declined to 58.9%.
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

How does that compare to Europe?

As of 2004, the proportion of women of working age who are in work in Europe is 10% less than in the United States.
(Financial Times)

Which country leads the world in female parliamentarians?

In the September 2003 parliamentary elections in Rwanda, women secured 49% of seats in the legislature — the highest number of women parliamentarians anywhere in the world — overtaking Sweden with 45% and well above the world average of 15%.
(Inter-Parliamentary Union)

And what is the situation in the Arab world?

As of 2004, women have the right to vote and run for office in all but three out of 22 countries in the Arab League.

Who was the first woman to hold the office of prime minister worldwide?

Sri Lanka’s Sirimavo Bandanaike became the world’s first female prime minister back in 1960. India’s Indira Gandhi became the next female prime minister in 1966.
(National Geographic Society)

Has that trend accelerated in recent years?

Of the 32 women who have served as presidents or prime ministers during the 20th century, 24 were in power in the 1990s.
(Foreign Policy)

Is the world recognizing female trailblazers?

The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai became the first woman in eastern and central Africa to earn a doctorate when she received a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Nairobi in 1971. She also was the first female professor at the University of Nairobi.
(Washington Post)

When did women's participation in modern politics start?

In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.
(Inter-Parliamentary Union)

Who was an unexpected latecomer to this development?

The Swiss canton of Appenzell did not grant women the right to vote until 1999.

Which shockingly brutal customs are still practiced in some countries?

Even though dowry has been illegal in India since 1961, every year about 6,000 women are killed — often doused with kerosene and set on fire in staged kitchen "accidents" — by husbands and in-laws angered by unmet dowry demands.
(Washington Post)

How differently do Arab countries approach the issue of women's rights?

In Qatar, women can vote, work and drive — none of which is permitted in Saudi Arabia.
(Wall Street Journal)

And finally, how family-oriented are Japan's single women these days?

Seven out of ten single Japanese women say they have no desire to become wives.