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Summary

Out of 195 nations around the world, 143 constitutionally guarantee equality between men and women. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly voted to form a UN task force to pursue the equality of women in social and legal practice.1 In Rwanda, over 60 percent of the lower house of parliament is women. In Cuba and Bolivia, over 50 percent of the lower parliament is women. Mexico, Grenada, Namibia, Sweden, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, South Africa, Finland, Senegal and Norway all have over 40 percent of their lower house parliaments filled by women. In the United States, just over 19 percent of the House of Representatives are women, and 23 percent of the Senate are female.2 In summer of 2018, Saudi Arabian women became legally allowed to drive, making Saudi Arabia the last nation to legalize female drivers3 and the last nation to allow women to vote,4 though in much of the Middle East — and regions of Africa — it is still difficult for women to exercise their right to vote.5 Worldwide, 130 million women and girls — from the primary to the secondary level — are not in school.6 In a study conducted with a sampling of 100 countries, when increasing the number of girls completing 12 years of education by 1 percent, economic growth rises by 0.3 percent. On a global scale, that would yield an increase of $15 trillion in revenue annually7 Women are also less-likely to be hired in full-time positions than men,8 and, on average, women earn 77.9 cents per dollar that men earn.9 In a study conducted in the United States, women graduating from business school projected they would earn approximately $54,000 a year. Men estimated they would be earning an average annual salary of $60,000 upon graduation.10 Nearly 769 million women and 290 million children are the victims of domestic violence each year.11 The World Health Organization estimates that one in every three women worldwide have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence carried out by a partner. Aside from death and physical injury, domestic abuse against women can result in long-term damage to mental, emotional and reproductive health.12 Each year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 become married. Today, more than 650 million women are currently living with the consequences of a marriage that took place when they were children.13 Child marriages pose threats to children’s health, education and vocation, creating issues during pregnancy and childbirth and rendering the girls vulnerable to domestic abuse.14 Women and young girls represent 98 percent of the 4.5 million annual victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution.15 Girls who were married at a young age are particularly vulnerable to domestic abuse.16 One third of girls ages 15 to 19 report physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hand of their husband.17 Adolescent boys also experiences these forms of abuse, but are two times less likely than young women to have been subjected to intimate partner violence. Nearly half of young women worldwide — almost 126 million — believe it is acceptable for a husband to strike his wife.18 Female genital mutilation is a particular threat to young girls around the world, and the WHO estimates that over 125 million women and girls have undergone FGM.19 Young women who undergo FGM face extreme pain, shock, hemorrhaging, tetanus or sepsis immediately following the operation, and face long-term consequences such as urinary tract infections, infertility, pain during intercourse, an increased risk of childbirth complications and death, and often require later surgeries.20 Show References
1 http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/gender-equality/index.html 2 http://archive.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm 3 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-women-driving.html 4 https://www.quora.com/In-which-countries-do-women-not-have-a-right-to-vote 5 Ibid 6 https://indd.adobe.com/view/dd1081b1-39b6-4637-9c61-ac0cbb275b45?startpage=7 7 Ibid 8 https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/participation-opportunity-women-s-work-what-data-tell-us 9 https://www.payscale.com/data/gender-pay-gap 10 https://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2018/01/22/the-countries-with-the-best-and-worst-gender-pay-gap-expectations-and-how-the-u-s-stacks-up/#1d67d417345c 11 http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/09/10/3565601/domestic-violence-cost/ 12 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/ 13 https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/about-child-marriage/ 14 https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/what-is-the-impact/ 15 http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures#notes 16 https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/what-is-the-impact/ 17 https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Hidden_in_plain_sight_statistical_analysis_Summary_EN_2_Sept_2014.pdf 18 Ibid 19 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/ 20 Ibid
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