Women's rights are human rights
Women in the Middle East and North Africa
In the Middle East and North Africa protesters are calling for democracy, freedom and equality. And throughout the region, women have stood alongside men; they have carried banners and placards demanding change. Women, like men, risked their lives: they dodged bullets, they were tear-gassed and they were detained by authorities.
However, women are now being left out of discussions to reshape their countries' futures.
Why we work on women's rights
Simply being born female can mean automatic and systematic disadvantage. Women and girls are still fighting for the most basic right of control over their own bodies and their own lives. Women face discrimination and violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family.
Around the world, women are:
- Missing: More than 100 million women are missing from the world's population - a result of discrimination against women and girls, including female infanticide.
- Illiterate: Two thirds of the 774 million adult illiterates worldwide are women - the same proportion for the past 20 years and across most regions.
- Forced into marriage: More than 60 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage before the age of 18.
- Dying in pregnancy and childbirth: Each year 358,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes.
- At risk: An estimated 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of female genital mutilation/cutting each year.
'As long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked,
underpaid, not schooled and subjected to violence in and out of their homes -
the potential of the human family to create a peaceful, prosperous world will
not be realised.'