This week, students in the Women and the Economy Online Forum are conducting team meetings across time zones and school schedules to compare analyses of their assigned countries. Each team also has an opportunity to get feedback from a student who is native to their assigned country. Our goal is to get a complete picture of what is really happening vs what's reported in the media and research papers.
Here are some excerpts of the students' assessments on the cultural, historical and social circumstances of their assigned country relating to women's issues thus far:
"Women in Peru face less inequality compared to other Latin American countries. It is said that six out of ten women are employed in Peru, this number is higher than in countries such as Chile, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Women in Peru had a literacy rate of 97.88% (in 2010) [...] now bringing their literacy rate to 99% for girls 15 and under. [...] the literacy rate of women has gone up every year." Dylan Maxene Silapan (Philippines) on Peru
"Women are often excluded from decision-making processes, and their voices are not always heard in discussions about policy. [...] Traditional gender roles still exist in many parts of [Vietnam], with women expected to take on the majority of household and caregiving responsibilities. [...] Despite these challenges, there are also many positive developments in the fight for gender equality in Vietnam. For example, the government has introduced policies to promote gender equality in the workforce, such as quotas for women in leadership positions." Abner Chen (Taiwan) on Vietnam
"I find that there has been a massive improvement when it comes to gender equality in Palestine. Palestine is an occupied country and still has shown steady progress (although it's little) statistically and more importantly (in my opinion) big progress when it comes to the community's mindset on gender equality, especially the younger generations. General evidence of this can be that females currently have a higher enrollment rate in education." Nourel Filmon (Palestine) giving feedback
Education indeed plays a key role in improving gender equality. As Michelle Obama expressed: “When girls get an education, amazing things start to happen. Girls who go to school have healthier children, higher salaries, and lower poverty rates. They can even help boost their nation’s economy. When girls learn how to think for themselves, they advocate for others and find solutions to some of our world’s most pressing problems.” (Michelle Obama, 2020).
Understanding the effect of education on gender equality, and gender equality on the economy is the foundation of forming solutions. Join us in watching these young changemakers from different backgrounds work together to synthesize that knowledge and come up with creative solutions in the weeks to come.