LatinaLista -- "We've come a long way baby" is something women like to say every time a new collective milestone is reached or glass ceiling cracked. In the United States, though women have achieved many accomplishments that gets them closer to parity with men, there is still a lot left to be accomplished. For example, the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to name one.
Yet it's common knowledge that, like the United States, other countries too still have women equality and empowerment issues to resolve -- some more than others.
These two issues are recognized as so important in the future development of the planet that the United Nations created a special dept., UN Women, to oversee global compliance regarding them. Headed by former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, UN Women released its first major report titled Progress of the World's Women:In Pursuit of Justice.
- For example, in 18 out of 30 countries, women report not having a say in household decisions
- 117 countries outlaw sexual harassment in the workplace. However, 311 million working age women continue to live and work in countries without this legal protection.
- Two-thirds of countries have laws in place against domestic violence, but many countries still do not explicitly criminalize rape within marriage.
- In 17 out of 41 countries, a quarter or more people think it's justifiable for a man to beat his wife. In the United States, 16 percent of women and men agree that it is sometimes justifiable for a man to beat his wife.
- Only a fraction of reported rape cases result in conviction.
- Despite the fact that at least 117 countries have equal pay laws, on average women are still paid 10 to 30 percent less than men across all regions and sectors.
- The USA has among the highest rates of women in prison in the world, with nearly 200,000 women currently incarcerated.
- Women in prison share many common traits: they are typically young, have low levels of education and have dependent children. Many have histories of substance abuse and violence. A study found that 82 percent of women in Canadian prisons have a history of sexual and physical abuse.
- Female representation in the police is 12 percent in the USA, below the global overall average.
- On average, women make up 30 percent of judges and 32 percent of prosecution staff in developed regions. In Canada and the United States, approximately 1 in 5 judges is a woman.
- Evidence shows that jurors in the USA are especially likely to question the credibility of African American and Latina female witnesses in rape cases.
Women, overall, still have a steep uphill battle to overcome inequality, biasness and perceived assumptions but the first step is recognizing that the problems exist and the second step is resolve them.