If we achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030, we will all have equal chances to succeed at all levels of public life.
What does this really mean? Simply — across every key gender indicator — life is significantly harder for girls and women in the least developed countries compared to those living in other countries. While men in poor countries are also disadvantaged, the gender gap between males and females is even larger in the poorest countries. This is why achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 will have the largest impact on reducing global poverty.
At Business Connect, we realize that it is women who suffer the most from the lack of modern energy services and we are focusing on empowering more women with sustainable businesses, providing citizens living in developing countries with affordable and easy access to essential resources, such as water and light. It is through this access that women are creatively creating businesses that provide an income to their family…from charging cellphones to selling clean water to their neighbors.
We have learned from our travels and experience that women and girls are the principal victims of one of world’s worst killers — indoor air pollution — as they cook their family’s food over a smoky fire or wood-burning stove or study by the toxic fumes of a kerosene lantern. And when it comes time for them to give birth, they often go to health clinics without electricity for medical devices or even lighting at night.
“Women’s status in society has become the standard by which humanity’s progress toward civility and peace can be measured.” Mahnaz Afkhami
- Globally, providing female farmers with the same access to productive resources as male farmers could reduce the number of people hungry by 100-150 million.
- Reducing differences in the employment rate between men and women by 2017 could generate an additional $1.6 trillion in global output (measured in purchasing power parity).
- Every year that a girl spends in school can boost her future income by 10–20%.
- It is estimated that an increase in educational equality can increase income per capita by 23%.
- Women in sub-Saharan Africa currently spend up to eight hours per day collecting fuel for cooking and heating their homes; access to energy would mean women could spend this time on more income-generating pursuits.
- The World Bank estimates that every 10% increase in access to broadband is correlated with a 1.38% growth in GDP for developing countries. Closing the gender gap in broadband access could increase the GDP growth, and surveys find that it increases women’s income-earning potential.
- Increasing key women’s and children’s health interventions by $5 per person per year to 2035 across 74 developing countries could yield a 9 times return on investment in economic and social benefits.
- In 2013, more than two-thirds of pregnant women living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries received treatment to prevent transmission of the virus to their babies. Fast-tracking efforts to improve this ratio could see the world eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV, hence saving millions of lives, and returning $15 for every $1 invested.
- If all women could access the care, commodities and services recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), maternal deaths would drop by 67%, and newborn deaths would fall by 77%.
- Equalizing access for girls’ basic education and ensuring that all students in low-income countries leave school with basic reading skills could cut global extreme poverty by as much as 12%.
Educated girls mean empowered girls. Over the coming decade 1 billion women are poised to enter the global economy. Will you help us help them by creating hope through business? Contact us today.