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Women's rights

More empowerment, voice and participation – World Bank presents new report on the realisation of women's and girls' rights

Participants of a panel discussion during the presentation of the new World Bank report on the realisation of women's and girls' rights: Dr. Silke Steinhilber, Karin Kortmann, Christine Nkulikiyinka, Ines Pohl, Ute Möhring, Sascha Gabizon (from left to right)

11.09.2014 |

Berlin – At a joint event, the BMZ and the World Bank last night presented the new World Bank report "Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity".

The report presents current data and numerous practical examples to highlight the continuing discrimination of women and girls worldwide. For instance, there are 128 coun­tries that have laws which put women at a disadvantage, and more than 800 million women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. The report confirms that gender equality is a key factor for socially equitable, sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment that benefits all of society.

The event was held at the Representation of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia to the Federation and opened by Gunther Beger, BMZ Director-General for global issues, and Jeni Klugman, World Bank Director of Gender and De­vel­op­ment.

Beger said, "We must not accept the disadvantages that women and girls continue to suffer in many coun­tries through social rules and official legislation, pov­er­ty, lack of education, or as a result of their origin and background. Our goal must be to enable them to make their own choices in life and take their actions free from violence, retribution and fear. Women and girls need to have a greater say and a stronger voice, be it within their families or within society."

The report looks at key equality issues such as violence against women and girls, health, rights, land tenure and ownership, and participation and voice in society and in politics.

In its gender equality strategy, the BMZ has committed itself to helping to enforce the rights of women and girls. In numerous projects worldwide, the Ministry supports efforts to strengthen women's rights. In Central Asia, for instance, the BMZ helps to improve women's access to health services. In Latin America, the focus is on eradicating violence against women. The idea is to change ways of thinking and patterns of behaviour that tolerate violence against women, and to back up that change through relevant legislation. In Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, the BMZ is using the influence of social media and the trans­for­ma­tive potential of non-gov­ern­ment­al or­ga­ni­sa­tions to enhance women's economic em­power­ment and give women a stronger voice in society.

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