Why do women and girls need our help?
The U.S. Census Bureau for 2010 reveals an austere gender disproportion that all too often remains under the radar:
- Women make up 57.8 percent of poor adults.
- Over 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010, including more than 7.5 million in extreme poverty (below half the federal poverty level).
- More than four out of 10 lived in poverty last year.
- Among Hispanic female-headed families, the rate spiked to over one in two.
- Among black female-headed families it shot up to almost one in two.
- More than one in five children lived in poverty in 2010, and more than half of poor children lived in female-headed families.
On a global level:
- One in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime.
- According to a recent report, of the 600,000-800,000 people trafficked across international borders annually, 80 percent are female.
- Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours but earn only 10 percent of the world’s income, and own less than 1 percent of the world’s property.
- Of a total 550 million working poor, 330 million (60 percent) are women.
- The United Nations estimates that globally women’s unpaid care is worth up to $11 trillion annually.
- Two-thirds of the 880 million illiterate adults are women.
- Of the more than 110 million children not in school, approximately 60 percent are girls.
- By age 18, girls have received an average of 4.4 years less education than boys.
- In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls have HIV rates up to five times higher than adolescent boys.
- Pregnancies and childbirth-related health problems take the lives of nearly 146,000 teenage girls each year.
- An estimated 450 million adult women in developing countries are stunted, a direct result of malnutrition in early life.
- Two million girls and women are subjected to female genital mutilation every year, and thousands suffer needlessly from obstetric fistula.