Some 65 percent of women with primary education or less globally are married as children, lack control over household resources, and condone wife-beating, compared with five percent of women who finish high school, Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity finds.
The report released in Washington just over a day ago says on average, 30 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence in countries of East Asia and the Pacific. One in four women in the region condone wife beating for at least one reason. In the Solomon Islands, 64 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence.
And it says in Australia, indigenous women are five times more likely than non-indigenous women to be subject to domestic violence, 38 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault, and 10 times more likely to die from assault.
Across 18 of the 20 countries with the highest prevalence of child marriage, girls with no education were up to six times more likely to marry than girls with high school education, it finds. Nearly one in five girls in developing countries, meanwhile, becomes pregnant before age 18, while pregnancy-related causes account for most deaths among girls aged between 15-19 years in the developing world—nearly 70,000 die each year.
"The persistent constraints and deprivations that prevent many of the world’s women from achieving their potential have huge consequences for individuals, families, communities, and nations," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. "Expanding women’s ability to make decisions and take advantage of opportunities is critical to improving their lives as well as the world we all share".
"If the world is going to end extreme poverty and ensure that prosperity is shared by all, we have to have the full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys, around the world", Kim said. He launched the report here with Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Despite recent advances in important aspects of the lives of girls and women, pervasive challenges remain, frequently as a result of widespread deprivations and constraints. These often violate women’s most basic rights and are magnified and multiplied by poverty and lack of education.
In all regions, better educated women tend to marry later and have fewer children. "Enhanced agency—the ability to make decisions and act on them—is a key reason why children of better educated women are less likely to be stunted: Educated mothers have greater autonomy in making decisions and more power to act for their children’s benefit," World Bank Group Director for Gender and Development Jeni Klugman said. "Educated mothers have greater autonomy in making decisions and more power to act for their children’s benefit."
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