The United Nations Population Fund released its annual State of the World Population Report this week. The report (see PDF) focuses on cultural politics and development, examining gender inequality and cultural differences in regards to reproductive health rights.
The report argues for an approach that modifies development programs so that they are compatible with local cultural tradition: "Culturally sensitive programming is key to building this common ground. It provides a practical and strategic response to the observation that cultural beliefs and perceptions are at the root of gender inequalities in many societies."
Specific statistics from the report on gender equality include:
- 3/5 of the world’s billion poorest people are women and girls.
- 2/3 of those who are illiterate are women.
- 70% of children who do not attend school are girls.
- 16% of parliamentarians worldwide are women.
Media Resources: State of the World Population Report 2008; Deutsche Welle 11/12/08