On International Women’s Day today, Muslim Aid issued a statement urging Governments and NGOs not to overlook social, political and economic equality for women in developing countries as key stakeholders in sustainable development.
A Spokesperson for Muslim Aid said: “The contribution of women is central to resolving conflicts, poverty eradication and economic empowerment. Governments and NGOs should work together to ensure women in developing countries have access to programmes which provide a holistic and all encompassing approach to their welfare and social progress.”
Further recognising the promotion of economic empowerment for women as key to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, the Spokesperson said: “Women represent an estimated 70 percent of the world’s poor. The GDP of national economies must take into account the contribution to the economy by women who are not in formal employment but still contribute to economic activity. We must also ensure that women are supported with equal access to education, training and science and technology for building sustainable societies.”
Faced with continuing discrimination, women often find themselves in low-waged and unsafe work. Eight out of ten women workers are considered to be in vulnerable employment in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with the added pressure of global economic changes taking effect on their lives.
Muslim Aid runs a number of programmes dedicated to the promotion of women’s development from establishing primary healthcare clinics in Sudan and health awareness workshops in Iraq. Muslim Aid’s Microfinance programmes have empowered women in many countries from Bangladesh to Indonesia.
Notes to Editors: