women's world banking

Investing in Women and Girls is Investing in Our Future

In partnership with San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health, Tumblr is hosting Scholars of Change, an op-ed series dedicated to featuring the voices of academic experts on the issues most impacting our communities. Today, we have Dr. Elizabeth Reed here to talk about the importance of investing in women and girls for the future.

Women and girls experience substantial economic, social, and health burdens due to being born a girl. Worldwide, women and girls receive fewer opportunities than males for education, employment, and political leadership.

In some places, women do not have access to banking or financial services, and are not allowed to own property. Globally, women are more likely to live in poverty and earn less than men for the same work. For example, in Bangladesh, women earn 12 cents for every dollar earned by men; women earn 62 cents per dollar of men’s income in Germany and 79 cents per dollar of men’s income in the US. 

Women and girls are also often deprived of their freedom of choice. Many women and girls have limited control over decisions related to marriage, sex, family planning, and their own health care. Additionally, 35% of females worldwide experience physical or sexual partner violence or non-partner rape. In multiple countries, up to 75% of females experience such violence. 

Other forms of violence include child marriage, honor killings, and sex trafficking. As a result of these deprivations of opportunity and freedom of choice, women and girls suffer from a number of poor health outcomes including malnutrition, mental health concerns, infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, other sexually transmitted infections), chronic health issues (e.g. cancers, asthma), unplanned pregnancy, and conditions such as fistula (caused by pregnancy complications). 

In addition, globally, 830 women and girls die every day from maternal mortality, yet almost all of these deaths are preventable with resources invested to ensure all women and girls have access to adequate medical care prior to and during delivery.

Altogether, it is a mistake to ignore these economic, social, and health burdens on women and girls. In places where there is more equity between males and females, we see the benefits on everyone in the community. Supporting human potential, progress, and health will require a future where the world invests fully in women and girls.

Want to take action?  Here are some organizations that support women and girls:

Global Giving

International Center for Research on Women

Women’s Empowerment International

World Pulse

- Elizabeth Reed 

Read more about Dr. Reed here.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Tumblr.

References

United Nations Women. (2015). Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016.

World Bank. (2012). World Development Indicators 2012: World Bank Publications.

UNICEF Development Fund. (2010). The World’s Women…: Trends and Statistics: United Nations.

Garcia-Moreno, Claudia et al. (2006). Prevalence of intimate partner violence: findings from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. The Lancet, 368(9543):1260 – 1269.

World Health Organization (2016). 

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Team B.A.D. (July 13th - ∞)

“Tamina and I have been down with each other, we’ve been riding together. But now, we got the NXT Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks, with us. You already know whats true - the boss is here in the WWE. Its our time to take over. It’s our time to run this Divas division. The Bella Twins? Fox? Paige and her little friends, Charlotte and Becky? They wanna step to us? They think that they can take us? Well we’ll handle our business.“

Women’s World Banking: Investing in Women, Transforming Lives proves that profit does not have to trump social mission. Through their network of 39 microfinance institutions in 28 countries, they give low-income women access to microloans and the financial knowledge to start their own businesses and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

For just $20, you can provide one girl with a piggy bank and the financial knowledge to set her on a path towards financial independence.

Donate here.