International Women’s Day, provides a great opportunity to look at equality, more specifically gender equality, in the Developing World.

Equality is most simply explained as “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities”. Simple enough right? But it’s actually a lot more difficult to address.

Let’s look at India where we support the Birds Nest project. Whilst the world is experiencing an economic slowdown, India continues to progress in economic terms, life expectancy, education, and health.

You might think that these improvements are shared by all sectors of the population… but this is not the case for the women. ?

Instead, India has slipped to 112th in the world according to the Gender Gap Index (using economic, health, education and political indicators) — a result that sees India rank lower than China, Nepal and Bangladesh!

So, what are the stats?

?4.3 average years of schooling for girls and 8.2 years for boys⁣
? 3% paid female employment compared to world average 48.5%⁣
? Less access to healthcare due to prioritised treatment of men⁣
? Female foeticide means 91 girls for every 100 boys⁣
? Women represent less than 14% of the parliament and 23% cabinet
? Reported rape incidences doubled in the last 15 years, whilst rape convictions fell from 43% to 24%⁣ ⁣

These kinds of results remind us that growth for some does not mean growth for all. That policies favouring the poor and marginalised are needed if all citizens are to have access to the same status, rights, and opportunities. ?

This is equality and THIS is what we are thinking about today #IWD2020. What are your thoughts on equality? What does it mean to you?