As Director of Women Thrive’s Alliance for Women’s Solutions, I do my best to keep up on the conversations happening in Washington and elsewhere about the best arguments for advancing gender equality. One I hear so often is that gender equality just makes sense for economic growth.
Now that much of the worldwide excitement over China’s announcement that it would end the notorious one-child policy has died down, it’s a good chance to examine just how much of an advancement this policy change really is for women and their families.
A normal day for a rural woman in South-Kivu, DRC, is far from calm. Women are at the center of community activities: from getting children ready to school to working in the fields and making sure their families have food on the table. Women work the day away, and they do so in a context of extreme poverty and insecurity.
Today, it is twice as hard for women as it is men to launch, grow and sustain a business, especially in the food industry that relies so much on agriculture, a sector in which women are discriminated against when it comes to accessing resources for business development.
2015 has been a year “of a continuing series of attacks on civil society in many countries where, when civil society asks difficult questions about power, the powerful seek to silence it.” -CIVICUS