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There are many areas within the developing world where gender inequality exists. One of these is within
education. There have however been significant improvements, for example Adamson now states that girls
feel school for them is the rule and no longer the exception. Despite this, gender inequality is still
significant in the developing world.
There are 960 million illiterate people in the world, and 2/3 of these people are females. This is impacting
on the ability to access their human rights and participate in job opportunities. Some areas have managed to
gain universal education. However, Sub-Saharan Africa suffers significantly in this area. Also even if children
are enrolled within school they may not turn up for various reasons. Girls are more likely to drop out of
schools than their male counterparts. Also, as females suffer from a higher morbidity rates, girls may be at
home recovering from illness, unable to attend school.
Girls who live in rural areas are less likely to attend school. Families are cautious of a dangerous walk to
school which can be up to 5 miles long in radiant heat, which may explain why these rural areas have low
enrolment rates. Cultures significantly affect school attendance. In Uganda, they have managed to achieve
universal primary education, due to Mussevini's policies (apart from war zones in the Acholi tribe who are
fighting the Lords Resistance Army). However, in Afghanistan the Taliban prevented females from attending
school. Segar argues that the control of women is central to fundamentalist and extremist organisations.
When we analyse female enrolment at secondary school level, numbers drop significantly. This is due to
the fact that when fees need to be paid, families are more likely to send the boys to school, and keep the
females at home to assist with the domestic jobs like cooking and collecting firewood. Also, in the
developing world there is an emphasis on getting marries at an early age, and producing children.
Therefore, education may be seen as not as important compared to other cultures. Amyarta Sen argues that
at a university level the drop in female students is even worse.
However, the commission for Africa states getting females into education has improved economic growth,
health and nutrition as well as reduced the number of children women have. It is this positive
development that needs to push gender inequality forward.
In the developed world, there is huge gender inequality within politics. Despite improvements, in the UK,
USA and other EU counties suffer from a lack of female representation. Feminists call a society which is
dominantly run my men as a patriarchy.
The documentary Miss Representation showed that in the US despite 51% of the population being females
only 17% are women within the US congress. In the 2010 congressional elections, women failed to gain any
votes for the first time since 1979. At this rate gender inequality will not be gained for another 500 years.
Men are often perceived as suiting the dominance and leadership role in politics. This is often the reason
as to why women's participation is low as it reinforces negative opinions. There has never been a female US
president and only one UK prime minister- Margret Thatcher. She often leaves people with bad memories
and this may have an effect on low female political participation.
Women tend to do worse in the first past the post system and much better in proportional representation.
They also do better in protestant countries, and much worse in Catholic and Orthodox countries like France,
Greece and Italy. Interestingly the UK is more unequal in terms gender inequality in politics than countries
such as Rwanda and Mozambique, who are not known for their democratic credentials.
Initially the representation of women grew slowly. By 1987 only 5% of parliaments were female. By 1997 this
had grown, with 110 female seats. By 2005 there were 128. In the recent 2012 election there was a 2.5%
increase in women, up to 143. It is gradually improving in Britain.
The significance of the lack of women in political positions means that often, issues that women regard as
important like welfare and child benefit are often ignored by a patriarchal government. This means that
policies made have a bias towards male opinions, leaving unfair lives for women. This is shown by the
current coalition, as the Times shows women are less satisfied with the cuts Cameron has made as they
affect women significantly. Men may see the work force equality as unimportant issues; however it is topics
like this which are oppressing women. Without representation, there will be no change.
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