Melinda Gates: Why Poverty is Sexist

By Melinda Gates, Co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [1]

Women and girls are more likely to be impoverished, less likely to get an education and more likely to suffer bad health. And when they’re born into poverty, it’s much more difficult for them to lift themselves and their families out of it.

Young Girl near  Arua, Uganda

Young Girl near Arua, Uganda

Why? One reason is that breaking out of poverty takes time–and that’s a resource women around the world are short on. On average, women spend about twice as much time as men doing the unpaid work that makes life possible for everyone, like cooking, cleaning and caring. In developing countries, the gap is even bigger. As a result, women have no time to finish their education, learn new skills, open a business or even go to the doctor. They dream of creating a better future for their children, but they can’t spare the hours to put those dreams into action.

The fact that the potential of so many women is being unrealized is a tragedy–but it’s also an opportunity. We need to recognize, reduce and redistribute the burden of work that’s holding them back. Because if women had time to invest in themselves and their ideas, they could transform the world.
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[1] Time magazine (28 March 2016)

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This entry was posted in Africa, feminism, humanism, Social Justice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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