Women and the future

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Temps de lecture : 2 minutes  

Des soldates répètent en vue d’un défilé militaire, Chine. © AFP PHOTO / STR

A few years ago, Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winner warned that there were a 100 million “missing” girls in Asia. In China, India and Pakistan, newborn baby girls are not cared for properly or killed and female foetuses are aborted because a baby girl would mean another mouth to feed and especially, a dowry to pay. In India, 90% of the 60 million abortions a year are female foetuses.

All over the world, women are victims of rape and human trafficking. Even in France, 654 000 women reported physical or sexual abuse in 2009 and 140 women were killed by their partner…

Women are still held responsible for raising young children and performing household tasksGiving each woman on Earth equal rights, a just status, dignity and her share of the world is therefore one of this century’s major issues.

Improving women’s education means providing them with a means to change their situation. It means allowing them to develop their skills, find work and an income and relate to society in another way but it also gives them hope for a better future.

But it won’t be enough. Women will have to get organised to change society. The right to vote, the end of family patriarchal codes, the possibility to manage their fertility and undergo abortions, access to senior jobs within companies and even within the government: even though they are still only applied to a minority, women obtained these rights in the West during the 20th century.

We have come a very long way. In France, there were women like Olympe de Gouge who wrote The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, and more recently, Simone de Beauvoir and Elisabeth Badinter, to name but a few.

There is still a long way to go in the South but women like Dilma Roussef in Brazil, Michelle Bachelet in Chile and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina have become heads of state and set an example that other women will certainly follow.

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