El futuro femenino de los países con mercados en ascenso

LONDRES – Según las Naciones Unidas, el 70 por ciento de las mujeres del mundo padecen violencia en algún momento de su vida. El Banco Mundial añade que las mujeres de entre 15 y 44 años de edad tienen más probabilidades de padecer violación o violencia doméstica que cáncer, accidentes automovilísticos o paludismo. Esos indicadores son más alarmantes incluso en los países con mercados en ascenso, donde la discriminación y la desigualdad entre los sexos son particularmente prevalentes.

Ello refleja en parte el fracaso de la política pública para mejorar las consecuencias distributivas del rápido crecimiento económico. Como el sector no estructurado sigue desempeñando un papel importante en las economías en ascenso, con frecuencia las mujeres sólo tienen acceso a empleos inseguros y transitorios que ofrecen salarios esporádicos e irregulares. Entretanto, una urbanización sin precedentes ha trastocado las estructuras familiares tradicionales, con lo que ha socavado aún más el papel que pueden desempeñar las mujeres en las economías y las sociedades.

Las consecuencias perjudiciales de la discriminación sexual activa –como, por ejemplo, la quema de novias y el infanticidio femenino– están claras, pero la discriminación pasiva –tolerar las normas e instituciones que deniegan a las mujeres la igualdad a la hora de adoptar decisiones reproductivas, igualdad de acceso a la educación y al empleo, un salario igual para un trabajo igual, igualdad de derechos ante la ley y una igual influencia política– es igualmente destructiva.

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