De vrouwelijke toekomst van de opkomende landen

LONDEN – Volgens de Verenigde Naties ervaart 70% van de vrouwen in de hele wereld tijdens hun leven één of andere vorm van geweld. De Wereldbank voegt hieraan toe dat vrouwen in de leeftijdscategorie van 15 tot 44 jaar meer risico lopen in aanraking te komen met verkrachting of huiselijk geweld dan met kanker, auto-ongelukken, oorlog of malaria. Deze indicatoren zijn nog alarmerender als het om de opkomende markten gaat, waar discriminatie en geslachtsongelijkheid zeer nadrukkelijk aanwezig zijn.

Dit is voor een deel de weerspiegeling van het falen van het overheidsbeleid om de snelle economische groei aan meer mensen ten goede te laten komen. Nu de informele sector een grote rol blijft spelen in de opkomende economieën, hebben vrouwen dikwijls slechts toegang tot onbetrouwbare en tijdelijke baantjes, met onregelmatige beloningen. Bovendien heeft de ongekende verstedelijking de traditionele gezinsstructuren ontwricht, waardoor de rol die vrouwen kunnen spelen in economieën en samenlevingen verder wordt ondermijnd.

De schadelijke gevolgen van actieve geslachtsdiscriminatie – zoals bruidsverbranding (wegens een ontoereikende bruidsschat) en het doden van jonge meisjes – zijn helder. Maar passieve discriminatie – het toestaan van regels en instellingen die vrouwen van alles ontzeggen, zoals gelijke toegang tot onderwijs en werk, gelijke betaling voor gelijksoortig werk, gelijke rechten voor de wet, gelijkwaardige politieke invloed en een gelijkwaardige rol in beslissingen over het krijgen van kinderen – is net zo destructief.

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