Women earn only 10 per cent of the world’s income although they do two-thirds of the world’s work, they form half of the world’s population yet 2/3rds of the world’s poorest are women.
In some countries discrimination exists despite equality laws, in others it is systemic and entrenched in the legal system. Combined with poverty and minority status it can be – and is – lethal to thousands of women every year by way of violence and pregnancy. Discrimination leads to a lack of education, which leads to poverty, abuse and exploitation and further discrimination, which closes the vicious cycle of poverty.
However, women are not passive victims, often they are the most committed and successful agents of change, not only for their own families and communities but for the whole of society.