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Economic Empowerment Of Women Essay

1315 words - 6 pages

“About 52% of the world’s population is female. But most of the positions of power and prestige are occupied by men. The late Kenyan Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai put it simply and well when she said ‘The higher you go, the fewer women there are’” (10 Things Chinamanda Ngozi). Why, in modernity, do many countries in the world classify men as superior to women? Physical strength? This made sense a thousand years ago, when the “survival of the fittest” norm was commonplace. The strongest were the ones most likely to lead. However, now, the one more likely to lead is not the strongest one, but the creative, ingenious one. This gives more economic opportunity to women who otherwise would have been abandoned as society’s refuse. When women take an active role in economic affairs, an overall reduction of poverty, hunger, and unemployment ensues. Historically, however, women remain disproportionately affected by poverty, sexual discrimination, and unjust exploitation. Many issues plague women in developing countries from becoming economically empowered. However, for every issue a poor woman faces, there are solutions.

A huge obstacle affecting women in many countries is legal impediments involving property and land possession. There is a growing interest among women to become financially stable, and one of the best ways to achieve this is to become an entrepreneur or own land. Bill Clinton famously said, “Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food, yet only earn 10 percent of the income and 1% of the property” (Corporations, NGOs, and Foundations). Compared to men, women have weaker property and land-ownership rights. Many statutory and customary land tenure structures hamper prospective female purchasers. On top of that, women often have tenuous contractual rights to natural resources. Even if legislation is in place and upheld, a dearth of legal knowledge and weak legislative implementation habitually restrict the ability of women to exercise their rights. The disconnect derives from low legal awareness and comprehension and in part to there being multiple and sometimes antithetical rules – law, culture and customs, and religion – that affect women’s property rights. These policies embolden the inequities between females and males. ( Finally, in the rare case that a woman did own a small plot of land, the absence of land tenure security diminishes the incentive of investing in land improvement, resulting in low productivity. The benefits of owling land including increased collateral, business capital, and a vehicle to secure finance and credit. Property and credit ease hardship in tricky financial situations. Globally there have been many initiatives taken to amend local, regional, and national laws hindering the progress of women economically. For example, since 2002, the Department for International Development has championed legal and procedural preparations for land tenure reform in Rwanda to ensure...

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