While war, poverty, health and a range of other pressing global issues affect women worldwide, climate wouldn't be one of the first you'd think of. Well, think again.
I don't know what's more sad - to actually hear about this news, or that I wasn't too surprised to hear it. In its first-ever study done on women's global health, the World Health Organization (WHO) found that the AIDS virus is the leading cause of death and disease among women aged 15 to 44. Unsafe sex is the leading risk factor in developing nations:
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month ended in the U.S. last week, new information reminds us that focus shouldn't be delegated to just one nation, let alone to just one month. AP had a story yesterday not only on the rise of breast cancer in poverty-striken nations, but on how women are developing the disease at a much younger age than in the developed world. Additionally (and not surprisingly), diagnosis is often made late in the game:
"If any man asks why I support better accountability to women, here's my response: because a government that answers to women will answer to you, too."UNIFEM largely blames the severe lack of improvement in gender quality within various nations on an "accountability crisis." Women should have the right to ask for explanations, to ask for information from decision makers - if they can't simply ask and be answered to, where can we even start implementing change? Read the whole report, title "Progress of the World's Women 2008/2009, Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability", which also includes a pretty awesome online interactive feature guiding you through the report.
"Over a billion women worldwide continue to be trapped in poverty...Where women can't thrive, national development strategies and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals [MDG] are in jeopardy. There can be no aid effectiveness without a focus on gender equality."UNIFEM has implemented gender-responsive budgeting (with the help of the European Commission) which has supported in over 40 countries. This helps to ensure women's development needs are addressed when supplying aid resources. Check out more info on the The EC/UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace program.