New York, 8 March, 2010 — The Asian Human Development Report, launched today in New Delhi to mark International Women’s Day, focuses on gender equality, and is the latest in a series which show that this is fundamental to improving human development.
“Women’s political participation is rising too slowly, women remain more vulnerable on the job front, and maternal mortality rates remain unacceptably high in many regions,” United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said.
Clark participated in the launch of Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Equality in Asia and the Pacific. The report found that, despite many advances, including labour force participation, gender inequality persists and deprives the region of reaching its full human potential. It found that countries in the region that have done the most to tap women’s talents and capacity – like Nepal and the Philippines -- have advanced farther in many aspects of human development.
“On this International Women's Day, our commitment that ‘progress for women is progress for all’ is stronger than ever. With solid partnerships, dedicated resources, and unwavering political leadership, we can build inclusive and equitable societies where it is widely understood that a win for women is a win for all,” Clark said.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This year’s theme is ‘Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.’ There have been many increases in gender equity throughout the world, such as girls’ education, but many challenges remain.
Human Development Reports from around the world have focused on key gender issues, providing invaluable research and innovative insights. These have explored the ideas underlying International Women’s Day, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which is being reviewed by the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Human development is a process of enlarging the choices for all people, not just for one part of society. Such a process is unjust and discriminatory if most women are excluded from its benefits. And the exclusion of women from many economic and political opportunities is a continuing indictment of progress. As the 1995 Human Development Report entitled Gender and human development stated, “human development, if not engendered, is endangered.”
Since the launch of the first global human development report in 1990 gender issues have been recurring themes in many global, regional and national human development reportsamong the issues that have been explored in these dedicated reports are violence, reproductive health and discrimination. Many regional and national human development reports have investigated the the policy implications and enriched public debates. Statistics disaggregated by gender and qualitative data from surveys and case studies play a crucial role in these discussions.
The 1995 report analyzed the progress made in reducing gender disparities and highlighted the wide and persistent gap between women's potential capabilities and limited opportunities. It also introduced two new measures of human development that highlighted the status of women. The Gender-related Development Index (GDI), which took note of inequality in achievement between women and men and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), which evaluated progress in advancing women's standing in political and economic forums. The two measures have been used as advocacy and monitoring tools for gender-related human development analysis and policy discussions.
These human development reports represent a powerful advocacy tool to influence change within and across borders. Through these reports and complementary initiatives, collective efforts to increase gender equality and empowerment are more likely to be successful.
The 2010 Human Development Report, due to be launched in late October, will take stock of the barriers to progress that are created and exacerbated by gender inequality, and highlight promising policy directions.
Gender and MDG's Djibouti - 2004
Gender, women and HD: an agenda for the future Mozambique - 2001
Gender and Development Niger - 1998
Gender and Human Development Guinea - 1997
Arab Human Development Report 2005 Empowerment of Arab Women
Asia and the Pacific
Korean National Human Development Report South Korea -2005
Women's Contribution to Development Cambodia – 1998
Women and Gender in Development Philippines - 1997
Europe and CIS
Pro-Poor and Pro-Women Policies Operationalizing the MDGs in Albania -2005
Latin America and Caribbean
Human Development Report on Gender Bolivia 2003.
Human Development Report on globalization with a Gender Perspective El Salvador – 2003
Human Development, Women and Health Guatemala – 2002
The Position of Women During the Last Decade Costa Rica – 2001
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