May 24, 2010

Women's Empowerment and Human Rights


In the NY Times' Op-Ed dated May 20, 2010, Nick Kristof acknowledges the importance of the social determinants of health in affecting health outcomes of women in Sub-Saharan Africa. These factors include poverty, gender inequality and education. Until women become empowered, fertility rates will remain high and continue to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries. Empowerment requires women to not only complete primary school but secondary school as well. In addition, they must participate in household decision-making and have some control of their earnings (employment). These requirements can only be fulfilled when there is strong political will behind them. Governments must recognize that the reproductive health rights of women are part of their human right to life as described in  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly in 1948. Any country that tolerates gender- based violence and inequity should be warned of losing aid until these rights violations are remedied.Here's the link to Kristof's piece:



Did you know?

Women in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die than those in the industrialized world.

Source:UNICEF, 2010

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