Promises made by the world’s governments to tackle poverty are failing to deliver because the basic rights of women in the developing world are being ignored.
In a speech to the UN, Gordon Brown described the faltering progress towards the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) as a "development emergency". Eight years after the goals were agreed, women in the developing world are continuing to paying the price.
Although women and girls account for just over half of the world’s population, they make up a large majority of poor and hungry people:
- 41 million girls are still denied a primary education and two thirds of the world’s illiterate young people are female.
- In Pakistan and India, girls have a 30-50 per cent higher chance of dying before their fifth birthday than boys.
- Women and children in Africa spend 40 billion hours collecting water per year – equivalent to a year’s labour for France’s entire workforce.
The MDG promises to developing countries can still be achieved – but only if women and girls are put at the heart of the global response. ActionAid is keeping up the pressure on world leaders until this happens.
Download our report: Hit or miss? - Women's rights and the Millennium Development Goals
photo : ©Michael Hughes/Action