Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New Study

The United Nations Population Fund has concluded that greater gender equality is correlated with positive economic growth and development, according to this BBC piece. The report states that "when women are educated, healthy and employed, and able to make decisions about childbearing and reproductive life, everyone benefits."

The findings concentrate mainly on gender equality in the area of health care. The study proposes investment into prenatal care to eliminate the 99% of birthing deaths that are preventable. It also suggests research into female-controlled HIV prevention measures, such as vaccines and microbicide. [The study points out the astonishing fact that men in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to only 6 condoms per year, necessitating supplement protection measures.]

The study links substandard health care for women, birthing deaths, and mothers lost to AIDS with stagnant economic development and breakdown of family structure.

So, if the inherent value of gender equality were not, in itself, a good enough reason for policy change and increased investment in women’s health, here is another. Your economy and your society depend upon it.


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