The WomanStats Project has the Data to Support Women’s Empowerment

The Voice of Change, UK Department for International DevelopmentThirty-year-old Tizezew works for Girl Summit, a program to end child marriage and FGM. Photo courtesy of the UK Department for International Development.

Men and women around the world celebrated International Women’s Day with protests and pledges. UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon called for greater worldwide investment for empowering women.

“I remain outraged by the denial of rights to women and girls – but I take heart from the people everywhere who act on the secure knowledge that women’s empowerment leads to society’s advancement,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

The WomanStats project is meant to give necessary data to those seeking to liberate women from their societal constraints.

Our mission is to prove that the fate of nations is tied to the status of women. The WomanStats Project seeks to provide both quantitative and qualitative data that tells the story of the life of a woman. The data is gathered from every reputable source available to the WomanStats Project and entered into the database.

These data points are divided up into three categories:

Laws (How her country treats her)
Practice (How her society treats her)
Data (A woman’s story translated into numbers)

Each data point has the story of a woman behind it. Her ability to live without fear matters, whether she lives in Burundi, Sweden or Malaysia. She must be protected, educated, and empowered not just for her sake, but for the sake of her husband and her children. The data of the WomanStats Project helps society be honest with itself about how women are being treated throughout the world.

Millions of men and women die each year from conflict and terrorist attacks, but how many women die in childbirth due to neglectful medical care? The UN reported in 2015 that although many men die in conflict, women’s mortality rates in Afghanistan are still higher than men’s.[1]

The U.S. still lags in comparison to other Western countries in regard to maternity leave. An article in the Wall Street Journal reports that “a quarter of all women in the U.S. return to work fewer than 10 days after giving birth, leaving them less time to bond with their children, making breast-feeding more difficult and increasing their risk of postpartum depression.”[2]

The world is complicated enough without the added challenges brought on by gender inequality. The WomanStats Project Database aggregates data on the status of women to show where each country has work to do.

The WomanStats Project team invites each person who reads this blog to pick one action you can do to help support women in your life in their efforts to improve their lives. Write it down on a piece of paper, and put it somewhere where it can be seen often. The individual efforts of many can change the world for all.

[1] http://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/countries/afghanistan

[2] http://www.wsj.com/articles/susan-wojcicki-paid-maternity-leave-is-good-for-business-1418773756?cb=logged0.19127902784384787

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