Toilets are a women’s rights question too!

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The ability to find and use a clean toilet with water supply, safely and when one needs, is an underrated human security issue. The threat of sexual violence, the health complications that come from controlling one’s need to urinate or defecate, the ability to clean oneself with privacy and dignity, and to be able to do so at home and work–are fundamental to anything we seek by way of women’s rights and gender equity.

Aastha Atray Banan, Why women should not hold on, Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 29, Dated July 24, 2010.

Global attitudes to gender equality: New report

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A new Pew Research Center report, part of their Global Attitudes Project, finds consensus that gender equality is desirable and awareness of gaps that remain to be filled.

Gender Equality Universally Embraced, but Inequalities Acknowledged,” July 1, 2010, Pew Research Center.

“Fifteen years after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women’s Beijing Platform for Action proclaimed that “shared power and responsibility should be established between women and men at home, in the workplace and in the wider national and international communities,” people around the globe embrace the document’s key principles.

“Almost everywhere, solid majorities express support for gender equality and agree that women should be able to work outside the home. Most also find a marriage in which both spouses share financial and household responsibilities to be more satisfying than one in which the husband provides for the family and the wife takes care of the house and children. In addition, majorities in most countries reject the notion that higher education is more important for a boy than for a girl.

“Yet, despite a general consensus that women should have the same rights as men, people in many countries around the world say gender inequalities persist in their countries. Many say that men get more opportunities than equally qualified women for jobs that pay well and that life is generally better for men than it is for women in their countries. This is especially so in some of the wealthier nations surveyed. And while majorities in nearly every country surveyed express support for gender equality, equal rights supporters in most countries say that more changes are needed to ensure that women have the same rights as men.

“These are among the findings of a 22-nation survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, conducted April 7 to May 8. This special in-depth look at views on gender equality, done in association with the International Herald Tribune, also suggests that, while egalitarian sentiments are pervasive, they are less than robust; when economically challenging times arise, many feel men should be given preferential treatment over women in the search for employment.”

See the article page for more details.

You can access the full report here.