Global Issues: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men.

Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation.

 

Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.

The word gender describes the socially-constructed roles and responsibilities that societies consider appropriate for men and women. (Source) Women in the United States have a very high ranking of educational attainment, though, with high levels of literacy and enrollment in primary, secondary, and university education. At present, there are more U.S. women attending college than men. (Source) Many Peace Corps Volunteers implement the Camp GLOW program, or Girls Leading Our World, to help girls develop self-esteem and leadership skills. Recognizing that men and boys must be equal partners in achieving gender equality, Volunteers also teach leadership and life skills to boys through Teaching Our Boys Excellence (TOBE) camps. Peace Corps Volunteers promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through health education, business development, and by raising awareness of women’s rights and contributions to their communities. Learn more about how Peace Corps Volunteers are working with communities by visiting the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools resources.

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