|Published Weidenfeld & Nicholson 2013|
The BBC has just completed its 100 Women Season with a conference for 100 leading women from around the world here Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir of Iceland gave a challenging address. Although she comes from the country where, for 5 consecutive years, the WEF has reported the lowest levels of inequality in the treatment of women, she encouraged her audience never to sit down and think the struggle is won. 70% of those living in absolute poverty in the world are women and 66% of those who are illiterate are female. Speaking of her own profession as a musician, Sigridur's painted the picture of a three generation family process - it took one generation of women to climb out of poverty, one generation to get an education and then a third to learn the instrument! She urged us to continue to challenge 'society's deeply held view that women are somehow inferior' which leads to women being denied opportunities for education and proper health and maternity care, girl children being aborted and violence against women. You can see her full speech on the link above. She threw out a question you might like to think about, 'What message would you send to your granddaughter?' Her answer - 'get an education.'
|Icelandic Singer and Debater Sigridur Maria Egilsdottir|
Where are the best and worst places to be a woman? To see a comparison of the gender gap across the continents, go to 'Women gain as gender gap narrows' here Of course, we might argue that we want to see the removal of poverty and the provision of education for all regardless of gender but the conference and Malala's book gave very powerful examples of why and how women suffer doubly because of their place (or lack of place) in society.