Filed under: FEMNET, G8, economic empowerment, globalisation, inequality
As politicians, police and protestors make ready for the G8 summit in Germany, she challenges those directing the globalisation process to address how it affects African women’s lives, and entrenches inequality.
In Africa, globalisation builds on a history of slavery, colonialism and exploitation – a fact many recognize to have a continuing impact on the continent’s experiences of the global economy. But globalisation also interacts with a history of gender inequality, casting a long shadow over the present and the futures of Africa’s women. This combination harshly limits the lives and hopes of the female half of the population, while holding back a whole continent’s people.
Far from being a disembodied force, globalisation takes place through people, organizations and institutions, who together determine its direction. Equality and fundamental human rights are now enshrined in the basic instruments of today’s international community and are central to our vision of a democratic society. But the fine words of these documents stand in sharp contrast to the daily reality of millions of women.
Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty today, 70 percent are women; the majority of the world’s refugees are women; female illiteracy is invariably higher than male illiteracy. Women and girl children are treated as commodities in cross border prostitution rackets and the pornography industry. Millions of girls are still subject to genital mutilation, while women in every country are regular victims of domestic violence…
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