« Health through women »
WHEP, initiated by the French Académie des sciences, is a GID international scientific programme.
WHEP plays a supporting role in national projects that contribute to the improvement of health for all via the education of women in developing countries.
On 23 January 2007, by Francis Segond,
The State of the World’s Children 2007 examines the discrimination and disempowerment women face throughout their lives – and outlines what must be done to eliminate gender discrimination and empower women and girls. It looks at the status of women today, discusses how gender equality will move all the Millennium Development Goals forward, and shows how investment in women’s rights will ultimately produce a double dividend: advancing the rights of both women and children.
Followed by a general survey of the actual situation including numerous statistical tables (Basic indicators, nutrition, health, HIV/AIDS, education, demographic and economic indicators, Women, child protection, ...), this 160 page report is divided into five chapters:
Gender equality is central to realizing the Millennium agenda, which risks failure without the full participation of all members of society. Within the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and at the heart of the United Nations itself, is the acknowledgement that the vulnerable, especially children, require special care and attention. Gender equality will not only empower women to overcome poverty, but will also assist their children, fami- lies, communities and countries as well. When seen in this light, gender equality is not only morally right – it is pivotal to human progress.
For children, the most important actors in the world are not political leaders and heads of development agencies, but the parents and caregivers who make crucial household decisions each day. Evidence suggests that men and women frequently have very different roles and priorities when it comes to household decision-making. Women generally place a higher premium on welfare-related goals and are more likely to use their influence and the resources they control to meet the needs of families, particularly children.
While there has been great progress in recent decades in engag- ing women in the labour force, there has been considerably less advance on improving the conditions under which they work, recognizing their unpaid work, eliminating discriminatory prac- tices and laws related to property and inheritance rights, and providing support for childcare. Ensuring that women and men have equal opportunities to generate and manage income is an important step towards realizing women’s rights. Moreover, children’s rights are more likely to be fulfilled when women fully enjoy their social and economic rights.
Women’s political participation is a Millennium objective in its own right. Empowering women in the political arena has the potential to change societies. Their involvement in governing bodies at the national and local levels leads to policies and legislation that are focused on women, children and families.
The final chapter of the report provides a road map for maximiz- ing gender equality through seven key modes: education, financ- ing, legislation, legislative quotas, women empowering women, engaging men and boys, and improved research and data.
Eliminating gender discrimination will produce a double dividend, fulfilling the rights of women and going a long way towards realizing those of children as well. With concerted efforts, real progress, based on respect, universal human rights and equal opportunities, can be made towards transforming discriminatory attitudes, behaviours, customs, laws, institu- tions and practices in society. Effective partnerships, involving governments, donors and international agencies, can support this process through the design and implementation of human rights-based development strategies. For women, men, and for children, the time to refocus our efforts is now.