International Women’s Day 2014!!!

In celebration of the International Women’s Day 2014 a visual review of where we stand with gender gaps around the world…

The Global Gender Gap Index introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress.

(The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 by the World Economics Forum)

gender-gap-map
Courtesy of World Economics Forum and The Washington Post.

In 2013, together with this map, The Washington Post also published the following list of ‘7 ridiculous restrictions on women’s rights around the world:

1. India (some parts): Road safety rules don’t apply to women. In some states of India, women are excepted from safety rules that mandate motorcycle passengers wear helmets — an exemption that kills or injures thousands each year. Women’s rights advocates have argued the exemption springs from a culture-wide devaluation of women’s lives. Supporters of the ban say they’re just trying to preserve women’s carefully styled hair and make-up — which isn’t exactly a feminist response.

2. Yemen: A woman is considered only half a witness. That’s the policy on legal testimony in Yemen, where a woman is not, to quote a 2005 Freedom House report, “recognized as a full person before the court.” In general, a single woman’s testimony isn’t taken seriously unless it’s backed by a man’s testimony or concerns a place or situation where a man would not be. And women can’t testify at all in cases of adultery, libel, theft or sodomy.

3. Saudi Arabia and Vatican City: Women can’t vote… still. This is amazingly the case in Saudi Arabia, though a royal decree, issued in 2011, will let women vote in Saudi elections in 2015. Vatican City is the only other country that allows men, but not women, to vote.

4. Ecuador: Abortion is illegal, unless you’re an “idiot.” Begum says this is the policy in Ecuador, where abortions have long been outlawed for everyone but “idiots” and the “demented.” Politicians are considering a policy with the more politely worded term “mentally ill,” but that won’t change abortion’s legal status in Ecuador — or, more importantly, the fact that the law is frequently used to criminalize miscarriages.

5. Saudi Arabia and Morocco: Rape victims can be charged with crimes. Many, many countries fail to protect the victims of rape, but some go a step further — punishing women for leaving the house without a male companion, for being alone with an unrelated man, or for getting pregnant afterwards. The most infamous case may be Saudi Arabia’s “Qatif girl,” but a recent suicide in Morocco also made headlines — 16-year-old Amina Filali killed herself after a judge forced her to marry her alleged rapist, in keeping with a policy that invalidates statutory rape charges if the parties marry.

6. Yemen: Women can’t leave the house without their husbands’ permission. Yemen, where this law remains in force, does allow for a few emergency exceptions, Begum says: if the woman must rush out to care for her ailing parents, for instance.

7. Saudi Arabia: Women can’t drive. Read more about the ban and how women are challenging it here.

Courtesy of The Washington Post

Posted by Alexandra Oppelt, PhD student, Biogeochemistry Research Group, TCD

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