Last year the ONE campaign released its first “Poverty is Sexist” report, aimed at pressuring leaders to put girls and women at the heart of key policies and decisions. The report demonstrated two truths:
1. Poverty and gender inequality go hand-in-hand. Being born in a poor country and being born female amounts to a ‘double whammy’ for girls and women: they are significantly worse off than their counterparts in richer countries, and in every sphere they are hit harder by poverty than men.
2. Investments targeted towards girls and women pay dividends in lifting everyone out of poverty more quickly, and are essential in the overall fight to end extreme poverty everywhere.
In 2016 half a billion women still could not read, 62 million girls lack the right to education and 155 countries still have laws that differentiate between men and women. On the African continent, girls account for 74% of all new HIV infections among adolescents, and 40% of women suffer from anemia, which has a significant impact on deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth.
When girls get an education, they are less likely to become child brides, contract HIV, and they have greater economic opportunities for the rest of their lives. Investing in women and girls improves the status of the entire society. One of the fastest ways we can accomplish the end of extreme poverty is by targeting investments towards women and girls, in addition to other issues of critical importance in the fight against extreme poverty. This set of outcomes are good for girls, good for families and good for countries.
ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign will build towards International Women’s Day, 8th of March 2017, and will run throughout the rest of the year. ONE is working in close partnership with various organizations and governments to make sure that investments targeted towards girls and women deliver the empowerment and equality needed.
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