FACT # 255

08 Mar

Here are a few facts about women in the work place and in education as International Women’s Day is observed on Friday

There has been an International Women’s Day since the early 1900s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.


— International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on March 19, 1911. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.



* On average, women live six to eight years longer than men globally.

* In 2007, women’s life expectancy at birth was more than 80 years in 35 countries, but only 54 years in the WHO African Region.

* Girls are far more likely than boys to suffer sexual abuse.

* Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls in high- and middle-income countries

* Essentially all (99 percent) of the half a million maternal deaths every year occur in developing countries.

* Breast cancer is the leading cancer killer among women aged 20-59 years in high-income countries.

* Globally, cardiovascular disease, often thought to be a “male” problem, is the leading killer of women.

SOURCE: WHO 11/2009


* Women comprise 20 percent of the world’s 1 billion smokers.

* Of the more than 5 million people who die each year from tobacco use, approximately 1.5 million are women.

* Worldwide, of more than 600,000 deaths caused every year by second-hand smoke, 64 percent occur among women.

* If current conditions continue, tobacco use will kill 8 million people each year by 2030, of whom 2.5 million will be women.

* Three-quarters of these deaths would be women in low- and middle-income countries. Each of these deaths would have been avoidable.



* The ratio of girls to boys enrolment has steadily improved, reaching 97 girls per 100 boys at primary level, 96 girls per 100 boys at secondary level and 108 women per 100 men at tertiary level in 2008.

* Women make up nearly two thirds of the worlds 759 million illiterate adults.

* Access to university-level education remains highly unequal, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. In these regions, only 67 and 76 girls per 100 boys, respectively, are enrolled in tertiary education. Completion rates also tend to be lower among women than men. Poverty is the main cause of unequal access.

* On average, across 121 countries with available data, women account for 29 percent of researchers, and only 15 percent of countries have achieved gender parity.



* Between 1995 and 2010, the share of women in parliament, on a global level, increased from 11 per cent to 19 per cent a gain of 73 per cent, but far short of gender parity.

* Parliamentary elections in 2009 contributed to rising gains for women in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, where 29 per cent and 25 per cent of the renewed seats went to women, respectively. But 58 countries still have 10 per cent or fewer female members of parliament.

* Progress in women’s representation in the executive branches of government is even slower. In 2010, just nine of 151 elected heads of state and 11 of 192 heads of government were women. Globally, women hold only 16 per cent of ministerial posts.

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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in General Facts



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