Ranjitha Puskur guest blogs on International Women’s Day about the need for gender equality for rural women in agriculture.
We are living in an increasingly unequal world. A recent UNDP report entitled ‘Humanity Divided’notes that while Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in low- and middle-income countries has doubled since 1990, more than 1.2 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty.
The greatest increases in income inequalities have occurred in developing countries that were especially successful in pursuing vigorous growth. Yet, as the UNDP report points out high inequality is not an inevitable consequence of rapid growth. There are examples where increased inequality has been prevented with appropriate policies and with greater participation and empowerment of those in danger of being left behind.
An important part of the reason for growing inequality is unequal opportunity for women. Despite, longstanding recognition of the fact that promoting gender equality is both the right and smart thing to do, success has been inconsistent at best. The Millenium Development Goals report states that, while we have made significant progress on several fronts, accelerated progress and bolder action are needed. Continue reading