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Women’s Empowerment

Countries advance optimally on the social and economic fronts when men and women are able to participate equally in the social and economic lives of their communities and countries.

When this is not the case, a gap exists in terms of the level of participation and engagement and countries find themselves lagging behind in human development. Statistics usually tell the story in the clearest possible way.

One example of the divide between women and men exists in their participation in the labor force of their countries. Based on the International Labor Organization (ILO) definition, the labor force rate is the proportion of the population ages 15 and older that is economically active: all people who supply labor for the production of goods and services during a specified period. Below are the statistics for the rate of women’s participation in the labor force of six countries in 2012. These statistics reveal two stories:

Afghanistan, 16%

Yemen, 25%

Mauritania, 29%

China – (Macao SAR) 66%

Norway, 62%

Iceland, 71%

Our global village should be a place in which the lives of men and women are based on opportunity and personal achievement, rather than gender or other social, economic, or environmental circumstances.

I strongly believe that the world will be more advanced and a better place once communities work towards the rights of all, especially girls and women, to access high quality education; to live in a healthy and safe environment; to engage fully in social, economic, and civic activities; and to pursue leadership positions in society.

We have made good progress in the last 100 years, but we need to make a lot more to create a fair and equitable world.

May Rihani

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