London: Arab News
Published — Wednesday 23 January 2013
Last update 22 January 2013 1:07 am
Girls are bearing the brunt of the global economic recession — being more likely to experience poverty, reduced life expectancy and drop out of school, according to a new report from Plan and the Overseas Development Institute.
Longstanding economic trends, entrenched gender inequality and austerity budgets have all taken their toll — leaving girls and their families with fewer resources and reduced access to services.
Food shortages and malnutrition are more common among girls, while women reduce their own food consumption to become “shock absorbers” for household security.
As women work longer hours for less money, more girls are pushed out of schools and into filling the gaps at home with domestic chores, into hazardous child labor or even sex work. “The world is failing girls and women,” the report said.
To solve the problem, international programs must be set up to ensure young women are properly fed, to protect them socially, to make sure they get to go to school and to create jobs for them after they have finished their education, the report recommended.
The report on the impact of the downturn on girls and women was released to coincide with this week’s World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.
The child rights and development organizations hope to attract the attention of global political and economic leaders, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be there to consider progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.