Excerpt from a First Take by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon at the Council on Foreign Relations:
Ten years after global leaders vowed to work toward eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality, and more, the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – particularly those relating to women – remain a distant hope. Though women were a focus of much discussion this week at the MDG summit in New York, the forward movement so far has been discouraging on the two MDGs directly relating to women: “promoting gender equality and empowering women” and “reducing by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio.”
An MDG report released in June noted that when it comes to women, “progress has been sluggish on all fronts – from education to access to political decision-making.”
While progress has been made on girls’ primary school enrollment, only three of ten regions are on track regarding women’s share of paid employment. The figure is even bleaker concerning women’s equal representation in national parliaments.
Data is still being collected, but early figures show the maternal mortality ratio reduction rate is “well short” of the 5.5 percent annual decline required to slash global maternal mortality by the MDGs’ stated 75 percent. Data from 1990 shows 430 maternal deaths per one hundred thousand live births. As of 2008, that figure had dropped only slightly to four hundred deaths per one hundred thousand live births, nowhere near the goal of below 150.
Continue reading at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Photo Credit: Adapted from “Untitled,” courtesy of flickr user :Bron:.