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AROUND THE WORLD
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on 17 October. Twenty five years ago, on this day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadero in Paris , where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights.
Poverty has a woman's face. Extreme poverty perpetuates a cycle of violence and discrimination against women and girls, and gender based inequality and violence continues to keep millions of women and girls in poverty and social exclusion. Across the world, some 925 million people go hungry every day, many of them women.
In many parts of the world, tradition dictates that women eat last, after all the male members and children have been fed. Women in rural areas are much less likely to have access to skilled attendance at the birth of their children, which has devastating impact on child and maternal mortality. Worldwide, 800 women die each day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and the vast majority of these deaths could be averted by providing quality health services. Early marriage of girls continues to stifle their right to education, health and economic empowerment.
Conversely, women are strong contributors to the economy, and form a large proportion of the agricultural work force globally. They can do much more given equal resources. For instance, FAO estimates if women farmers have the same access as men to agricultural resources, this could increase production on women's farms in developing countries by 20-30 per cent, and potentially reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 100 to 150 million people.
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, check out the Say NO-UNiTE photo essay dedicated to ending poverty, discrimination and violence against women and girls.