SEATTLE — A look at poverty trends around the world will reveal an underlying pattern: poverty is sexist. Women have a higher chance of living in poverty, contracting disease and are less likely to be educated than men. The gender inequality in poverty can be found in countries in all areas of the world, and occurs due to a combination of reasons.
Women have less access to technology than men, even in developed countries. Education, especially secondary education, still has not reached as many girls as boys. There are currently 130 million girls who are not enrolled in school. Men own significantly more land than women, and can more easily access bank loans and services.
Reducing the gender poverty gap will be beneficial for everyone, as educated women are more likely to put their resources back into their communities. Many celebrities have voiced their support for causes that address this specific facet of poverty.
Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, strongly believes that empowering women is a great opportunity to lift up the world’s poor and increase quality of life. She cites the redistribution of labor in order to provide women with time to receive an education as one of the keys to women’s success.
The ONE campaign aims to influence leaders around the world to make lifting women out of poverty a priority. Supporters of this campaign include Meryl Streep, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and many others. The main goal is to empower women and lift them out of poverty completely by 2030. In 2015, the celebrity supporters wrote an open letter to world leaders encouraging them to get on board with the ONE campaign and address gender inequality in poverty.
This year, Charlize Theron, Gisele Bundchen and more participated in ONE’s #GirlsCount campaign. They created short clips asking governments everywhere to make education for girls a priority. The campaign points out that educating women results in economic stimulation and social stability, which helps developing countries continue to grow.
With support for women’s rights growing all over the world, world leaders have taken notice. Over the next couple decades, women’s empowerment will continue to increase as long as people speak out in support of the world’s poorest and shine a spotlight on gender inequality in poverty.
– Julia Mccartney