I am writing not as a woman /man with statutes or special rights but as a human being with feelings and heart beat. My heart bleeds each day I wake up and I am not sure of what to make of my thoughts or feelings. I feel for the pain and anguish the poor has to go through every day. I used to be a victim myself. It’s heard to tell what I feel. What You are about to read is not to be ignored please share or make a donation.
There are millions of babies born everyday without a chance of making it the third world countries, some of those babies could be future lawyers, doctors, scientist that might discover the best cure to the diseases and plagues that has befallen humanity, some could be super stars that will win our hearts and make us happy just by listening to them or watching them in TV’s shows. The list is endless but do they deserve it? Neither do we but we still can turn the tables around if we think deep and feel deeper.
There are women who are hard working and good mothers but poverty has rid us of such amazing women. Women are the pillars of our society they are our back bone and we can’t do without women. What makes them special? To start with you are conceived by a woman and she nurtured you. Even if she left us due to circumstance. Sometimes we blame our mothers for living us to grow up alone. Sometimes we ask why she has to die when we are so young, well lets not forget that life has it’s own faces as such we can’t predict the future but surely women generally are special people and such we should respect them.
Women in Poverty
To understand the plight of poor women around the world, consider the stories of Ade,
Runa, and Reina. On the outskirts of Ibadan, Nigeria, Ade cultivates a small, sparsely
planted plot with a baby on her back and other visibly undernourished children nearby.
Her efforts to grow an improved soybean variety, which could have fortified her
Children’s diet, failed because she lacked the extra time to tend the new crop, did not have a spouse who could help her, and could not afford hired labor. Runa, a young woman with boundless energy, piercing eyes, and a warm smile, founded and runs the Self-Employed Women’s Association in the Indian city of Luck now, one of the country’s most disadvantaged regions.
Until a year ago, she had been unable to obtain credit from local banks for her impressively well organized business, which now employs about 5,000 women home workers who sell chikan embroidery in national and international markets. Reina is a former guerrilla fighter in El Salvador who is being taught how to bake bread under a post-civil war reconstruction program. But as she says, “The only thing I have is this training and I don’t want to be just a baker. I have other dreams for my life.”
A farmer, an entrepreneur, and a former guerrilla— the working lives of these three women have little in common, except that they, along with most women worldwide,
face similar obstacles to increasing their economic power: no “slack” time to invest in additional work that could bring in needed income; lack of access to commercial credit; and training in traditionally female— and mostly low-wage— skills. These obstacles differentiate the work experiences of men and women, exacerbate women’s poverty, and sustain a vicious cycle of impoverishment from one generation to the next.
They also help to account for a disturbing global trend: the feminization of poverty. When the yardstick used to measure the degree of people’s poverty is their level of well-being, women are traditionally found to be more impoverished than men. But poverty is more commonly defined according to income, and today, although the gap between the two sexes is decreasing in terms of wellbeing, it is increasing in terms of income. The evidence is imperfect, but current trends suggest that women account for a growing proportion of those people who are considered poor on the basis of income, not only in industrial countries such as the United States, but also in the developing world.
POOR WOMEN, POOR WORLD
This feminization of poverty should be considered a legitimate foreign policy concern. Because women are increasingly economic actors and heads of households as well as mothers, their poverty slows global economic growth. Moreover, in poor countries, their disadvantage feeds a destructive spiral of poverty, population growth, and environmental degradation. In a world of blurring borders, women’s poverty
creates enclaves of want in the midst of wealth and puts rising pressures on the developed world, whether by fueling costly humanitarian crises or by unleashing— for the first time— waves of females who migrate without spouses to seek work in richer countries.
Global literacy statistics show that in 1990 there were only 74 literate women for every 100 literate men. Schooling statistics reveal a similar trend. Worldwide, 77 million girls of primary school age (6-11 years old) are out of school, compared with 52 million boys— a gap that becomes even larger when girls’ higher overall dropout rates, absenteeism, and repetition levels are taken into account.
Women Care Group101/ Planting Seeds of Hope
Despite the important role that women in developing countries play in agriculture, they have often been
denied the attention and assistance given to their male colleagues. The question is why should women work hard while men take the credits.
The majority of women obtain low-wage work because of persistent sexual discrimination in terms of employment and wages. In Honduras, for example, coffee and tobacco farmers prefer to hire girls and women as laborers because they are willing to accept lower wages and are more reliable workers. Especially in poor countries, female labor is primarily sought for low-paid positions in services, agriculture, small-scale commerce, and in the growing, unregulated manufacturing and agribusiness industries, which pay their workers individual rather than family wages, offer seasonal or part-time employment, and carry few or no benefits. Hence, this explains the seemingly contradictory trends of women’s increased economic participation alongside their growing impoverishment.
BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE
The vicious cycle of poverty that unfolds when women work more and earn less and children, as a result, get less food and maternal time, is both commonplace and hard to break. But recent studies have also made clear that while households headed or maintained by women may lack resources, they are generally more “resourceful” than their male counterparts. In Brazil, for instance, economist Duncan Thomas has found that income in the hands of mothers has an effect on child health that is almost 20 times greater than income that is controlled by the father. Similar results have been reported in Chile, Guatemala, Kenya, and Malawi. The key appears to be that in households where women control resources, they prefer (whether for reasons of nature or nurture) to invest scarce resources in child well-being. In Jamaica, for instance, studies have found that female-headed households spend more on food and other family-oriented goods than male-headed households.
These differences in the way that men and women prefer to spend scarce resources in poor households suggest that the income that poor women earn can yield higher health or social benefits than that earned by men. They are a strong argument for the desirability of expanding poor women’s economic opportunities— precisely the area where there has been little, if any, advancement in recent decades. In short, the question before individual nations and the international community at large is not why they should invest more in women, but how. Nations need to take measures that reinforce the virtuous cycle between poor women’s and children’s well-being. They also need to avoid actions that aggravate the obstacles that
women and children already face.
A good place to start would be avoiding the unintended consequences of social and economic policies that can increase women’s work burdens— such as reducing those public services that cushion the impact of negative economic shocks (see Ricardo Hausmann’s article “Will Volatility Kill Market Democracy?” on pp. 54–67 in the Winter 1997 issue of Foreign Policy). Taking such measures without providing complementary policies that adequately “protect” poor women in their multiple roles as producers and reproducers is likely to set in motion, or intensify, the poverty cycle.
Enlightened approaches such as providing women with access to reliable credit and savings can have multiplier effects that raise poor women’s productivity in the home, as well as productivity and earnings in the market. With that in mind, policymakers should also stop promoting well-meaning programs that ignore women’s traditional productive roles, the economic value of their time, and their domestic time constraints. One project, for
example, established a cooperative for rural women in western Kenya that produced potholders for sale in Nairobi at a price lower than the cost of the banana fiber that was used to make them. There are several other specific areas of national and international policy where changes and improvements could yield great dividends for poor women and for the developing world in general.
Governments in all countries
should take the following measures: Expand substantially the access of poor women to family-planning and reproductive health services. Many successful reproductive health programs offer women a package of health services for themselves— and sometimes their children— bundled into one visit, in one location, which saves them both time and transportation costs. Boosting women’s capacities to generate income will also increase their access to higher quality health services that may be purchased through private providers. Adopt education reform agendas designed to increase the quantity and quality of, first primary, and then secondary, schooling for girls. With the support of international agencies, innovative efforts to increase girls’ access to schools are under way in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and other countries. These include giving scholarships and engaging families and communities in the task
of getting and keeping girls enrolled.
As World Bank vice president Mieko Nishimizu has said, “If you educate a boy you educate a human being. If you educate a girl, you educate generations.” Create incentives for the private sector to expand women’s access to agencies that offer credit and savings services. Microfinance operations, like the well-known Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, have succeeded in providing access to reliable credit and savings services to more than 3 million female borrowers in developing countries, but such operations still reach only about 5 percent of those in need of their services. They also provide benefits in other areas. One female microcredit client in Bangladesh, for example, mentioned that the profits from her expanded business had enabled her to buy a rickshaw for her unemployed husband to use as taxi. As a result, she mentioned in passing, he had stopped beating her.
More to come visit us for more updates or subscribe to our blog …. Thanks for reading and sharing God bless.
Women Care Group101 is a small charity standing like a candle in the wind.Wcg101 shining light represents a glimpse of hope to those living in darkness.
Copyright © 2010 Women Care Group International. All Rights Reserved.