Tuesday, July 10, 2007,9:06 AM
Empowering Women with the Millennium Development Goals

This year marks the halfway mark for the Millennium Development Goals. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

Well it's 2007 and we are halfway to 2015. As aid groups are saying, "its halftime and this isn't a game we can afford to lose." But even though we are halfway there in regards to time, the goals are not halfway met. There has been progress, but not of the leaps and bounds kind. What is being found though is that we are seeing advances in Goal #3 - promoting gender equality and empowering women. That's not to say that rampant oppression of women doesn't still exist, but that in certain areas women are being empowered.

From reports I heard at the Jubilee Conference what is occurring is that in so-called developing nations women are becoming a more visible presence in politics. They are taking seats in Parliaments, being appointed to government positions, and occasionally even ruling countries. In fact the percentage of women in high level government positions is the same in sub-Saharan Africa as it is in the USA. Granted that percentage is still under 20%, but apparently that is huge progress. What is even more interesting is that it is being reported that the general population's acceptance of women in positions of authority is much higher in those countries than it is in the USA. Over here we are still quibbling over whether or not a woman or a black man can be president and these other countries are just doing it.

So here's to empowering women. May this goal be met and surpassed around the world and here in the States.

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posted by Julie at 9:06 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


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