1.5 billion people worldwide live on less than 1 dollar a day, and 70 percent of them are women. According to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) study in 1995, women carry out more than two-thirds of the world’s work – the equivalent of 11 trillion dollars or almost 50 percent of world GDP. Women also shoulder almost all responsibility of meeting the basic needs of the family. Yet, they only receive an estimated 10 percent of the world’s income and own only 1 percent of the means of production.
Women’s poverty is a violation of their human rights to health, wellbeing and development. Even though there have been efforts to address global poverty, significant progress must still be made to ensure gender equity before we can truly eradicate poverty.
Presently, women disproportionately suffer from hunger, disease and impoverishment. Moreover, with the disparity in wealth between men and women set to widen, the odds for a better quality of life for the world’s poorest women appear slim unless concerted efforts are exerted.