Out of 1,000 people, 504 are men (50.4 percent) and 496 are women (49.6 percent). We’re talking about half the world’s population. Vulnerable and disadvantaged women, and those who experience discrimination and inequality of any kind, need to be empowered if we are to achieve full inclusivity and the United Nations’ goals of sustainable development. From its inception, the U.N. has protected the rights of women. Among the purposes of the U.N. Charter is the mandate “To achieve international co-operation … in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” Within one year of its existence, the Economic and Social Council established its Commission on the Status of Women dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women. The General Assembly declared 1975 as the Inter- national Women’s Year, and, in 1979, adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Since 1975 to date, there have been four World Conferences on Women, advancing and broadening the agenda and acknowledging women’s rights as human rights. Gender issues were integrated into the Millennium Development Goals agenda for 2015. The post-15 Sustainable Development Goals also integrate women’s issues explicitly (Goal 5) and as a crosscutting theme.
But despite countless efforts and numerous instruments in place, we still have these devastating facts with us:
One woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth every 90 seconds.
Non-communicable diseases (cancers, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes) represent the biggest threat to women’s health worldwide.
One-third of the countries in develop- ing regions have not yet achieved gender parity in primary education.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering bot
One in three women experience physical or sexual violence in their lives. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to female genital mutilation.h primary and sec- ondary school.
Looking at this major global topic from the point of view of the human brain might provide some useful insight on ways to address it.