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Despite progress, gender inequality persists: study

Jul 10, 2015

The MDG report-2015 states that women continue to face discrimination in many parts of the world.

New Delhi: Even as more women are becoming members of Parliament and the number of school going girls is increasing globally, gender equality continues to plague various parts of the world.

According to the final report on the Millennium Development goals, there has been significant achievement on gender equality in education but despite more representation of women in parliament and more girls going to school, the gender inequality persists.

“Women continue to face discrimination in access to work, economic assets and participation in private and public decision-making,” the report highlights.

The report says that worldwide many more girls are now in school compared with 15 years ago. “In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990, but today, there are 103 girls for every 100 boys,” the report said.

The report highlights that in the year 2015, women make up 41 per cent of paid employments outside the agriculture sector, an increase from 35 per cent in 1990.

Regarding the participation of women in legislative bodies, the report says that women have gained ground in parliamentary representation in nearly 90 per cent of the 174 countries with data over the past 20 years. “The average proportion of women in parliament has nearly doubled during the same period, although only one in five members is a woman,” the report said.

Talking about women’s participation in the employment opportunities, the report highlights that women’s share of wage employment has continued to grow. However, in Southern Asia, women’s participation rate in the labour market is one-quarter to one-third of men’s rate.

Between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of seats held by women in single or lower houses of national parliament increased from 7 per cent to 18 per cent in Southern Asia; from 12 per cent to 18 per cent in South-Eastern Asia; and from 20 per cent to 22 per cent in Eastern Asia.

Dwelling on maternal health, the study brings out that the maternal mortality ratio declined by more than 55 per cent between 1990 and 2013.

The report highlighted that significant gains have been made for many of the MDG targets worldwide, but progress has been uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps. Conflicts remain the biggest threat to human development, with fragile and conflict-affected countries typically experiencing the highest poverty rates.

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