Today we are conscious of injustices against women and realize that reformation needs to take place. The question that I struggle with is why are injustices so apparent, yet so difficult to eradicate? I find it astounding that still in 2015 “women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn only 10 percent of the income and own only one percent of the property![i]”
What we need are reforms that give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance, and natural resources in accordance with national laws. Without these measures, women will continue to be society’s largest marginalized group.
Here’s a few suggestions on what can be done to break the ingrained chains of injustice that have shackled women for so long!
- Equal Access to Education
Education is a valuable tool that works to place all on an equal playing field. If women do not have access to equal education then she is already behind. Send your daughters to school and encourage them to do the best that they can. The socialization of gender biases start early, be the one to dispel such myths. By gaining equal education women are just as knowledgeable about their rights, methods to obtain ownership of property, and possess knowledge on the current economy. This alone sparks a reform that makes the figure of women owning only one percent of property impossible!
- Women in Leadership Positions
Does anyone else find it odd that only 22% of legislators worldwide (both houses combined) are women[ii], when women represent approximately 50% of the world’s population[iii]? Let’s change this! When women are in decision-making positions it is proven that they are more likely to think about other women. Make a conscious effort not to discredit women leaders based on their sex or physical attributes. The next time you have a chance to vote for a woman, view her platform, evaluate her goals, consider how she will work towards the advancement of others, and how this will create more equilibrium in that given legislature.
- Programs that Promote Land and Property Ownership for Women
Now that we are aware that women own less than 1% of the world’s property, self-help programs need to be implemented to increase this figure. More micro lending programs that encourage women to invest in land and business ownership need to be developed. F and husbands also need to make a conscious effort to include wives and daughters in their will to inherit property. The long standing tradition of property being handed down to men in the family needs to stop. Men, legally ensure your legacies to your wives and daughters so that they too can reap the benefits.
Let’s be more than conscious, let’s be proactive in our efforts to bring economic equality to women.