Leading voices from around the world have been illustrating worldwide injustice, inequality, and differences in opportunity with the refrain “Poverty is sexist,” made prominent by the advocacy group ONE. (Download a report measuring poverty, its relative effects on women and girls as compared to boys and men worldwide, and various specific measurements of global wellness here.)
But it’s always important to have women’s voices joined by men’s — particularly leaders. So we were excited to read the latest from the World Economic Forum, highlighting Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wholehearted agreement with the statement “Poverty is sexist” — as well as a commitment to work toward gender equality.
“As a feminist, I know that women must be treated equally everywhere. That is why, as one of my first actions as Prime Minister, I named a gender balanced Cabinet. It is my hope that this will set an example for governments around the world,” Trudeau said in a letter shared on ONE’s website.
The World Economic Forum also shares five charts illustrating just how sexist poverty can be: everything from access to the Internet and education to land ownership and bank accounts present obstacles disproportionately to women, making it nearly impossible to achieve financial stability or security.
Read below and click through for the full story, including specific statistics on the inequality of poverty.
www.weforum.org – For a couple of months now, leaders from the world of politics, business and entertainment have been lining up to make a declaration: poverty is sexist.
Back in March, 86 leaders – from Sheryl Sandberg and Melinda Gates to Oprah and Bono – signed a public letter stating exactly that.
Now they’ve been joined by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In an open letter, the self-declared feminist wrote that he “wholeheartedly agrees: poverty is sexist. Women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished, and face greater risk of disease and poor health.”
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 25, 2016
The declarations are all part of a campaign from ONE, an organization that works to end extreme poverty. But what exactly do they mean when they say poverty is sexist?
The argument boils down to this: in every sphere, women are disproportionately affected by poverty. So the measures we’re putting in place to end it must be specifically targeted at them (something development specialists refer to as gender mainstreaming).