World Vision reports that 689 million people endured extreme poverty in 2021 and research shows that women make up a majority of the world’s impoverished. One trend that is common among countries with high poverty rates is a lack of gender equality. In some of these countries, women make less money than men, have limited access to education, or have fewer rights than men. Fortunately, in recent years, the world is noting global gender equality progress.
New Female Leaders Worldwide
In recent years, gender equality movements have reached government offices as countries around the world have made the progressive change of appointing women to leadership positions. In 2021, Albania appointed 12 out of its 17 total cabinet seats to women, a 70% majority. By giving the prime minister a new, primarily female cabinet, Albania could begin to go in a new direction that could further empower women in the nation. Albania ranks 25th out of 156 countries on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report of 2021.
Honduras also made a significant change to its government in January 2022 when Xiomara Castro became the first female president in the country’s history. Castro has already voiced her intentions to tackle social injustice and help women. This should be encouraging to the citizens of Honduras, particularly its women who have faced numerous challenges such as femicide and reproductive rights restrictions.
Like Castro, in December 2020, Maia Sandu became the first woman to hold the presidency in her country, Moldova. In Moldova, almost 27% of people lived in poverty in 2020 and gender inequality is prominent as women face high rates of gender-based violence and less than half of Moldovan women participate in the workforce. Despite the challenges that Sandu has faced due to gender biases, there is hope for the women of Moldova to reach equality through Sandu’s efforts.
New Female Leader of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
In 2021, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO) as director-general. She is also the first African to lead the organization. The WTO is focused on the “global rules of trade between nations.” Its goal is to help nations efficiently conduct trade with each other. Having Okonjo-Iweala as the WTO new leader could be promising in terms of reducing global poverty as Okonjo-Iweala is a “firm believer” in using trade to help raise countries out of poverty. Furthermore, being an African woman, Okonjo-Iweala has experienced the struggles of the African continent first-hand. Africa holds a large majority of the world’s poor, most of whom are women.
New Constitution in Chile Strengthens Equality
In 2021, Chile voted to elect an assembly made up of 155 citizens to construct the country’s newest constitution. This is the first constitution in the world that men and women wrote equally. Many believe that this will help women in Chile make significant progress toward equality.
The previous constitution had a number of flaws as it was drafted, primarily, by one person during a time when Augusto Pinochet ruled Chile with an iron fist. One of the main issues is that men had more rights than women. The new constitution heavily prioritizes gender parity in the country. With more people having input on their country’s laws, Chile can better address the issue of inequality.
Chile’s new constitution could create a new standard for gender equality movements around the world. Because the world’s impoverished mostly consist of women, improving gender equality could reduce that poverty. If more countries adapted governments to promote gender equality, more women worldwide would have the same rights as men. This could be a driving force behind eliminating inequality between men and women as well as eliminating poverty for both.
Continued global gender equality progress will ensure that more women rise out of poverty across the world.
– Tyshon Johnson