This post from Women LEAD Nepal highlights one of the most important issues in post-2015 development – getting more women into leadership positions around the world.
There is growing evidence of a correlation between women in prominent roles (particularly in government) and improved health, well-being and economic prospects for women, children and adolescents.
For example, the Rwanda Women’s Parliamentarian Forum is a powerful force for change in that country, which in 2013 had the highest percentage of women parliamentarians in the world (64%). It is no coincidence that under-five mortality was reduced there by 50% between 1992 and 2010, from 151 to 76 deaths per 1,000 live births, while maternal mortality reduced by 22% from 611 to 476 per 100,000 births in the same period. Similar advances have been achieved in Lao PDR, where the Women Parliamentarians Caucus is active (examples and figures from the PMNCH 2014 Success Factors report).
Written by Claire Charamnac, co-founder of Women LEAD.
The lack of female leaders is one of the most enduring forms of inequality in the 21st century: fewer than 20% of all decision-making national positions are held by women (World Economic Forum). Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, said in an interview that “the biggest challenges [for women] everywhere are political participation and economic empowerment — and ending violence against women.” Entrenched problems such as gender discrimination can only be overcome by investing in a new generation of female leaders working alongside men to create sustainable change.
Across the world, and in Nepal, adolescent girls are an under-served population (UNICEF). While “education for women is the most profound intervention in development” (Dr Osotimehin, UNFPA), it needs to be paired with economic and political empowerment. Less than 2¢ of every development dollar goes to girls and 9 of 10 youth…
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