Sub women sought

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This fact sheet [ 1 ] highlights the progress of rural women against key Millennium Development Goal MDG indicators, pointing to some of the advancements made and gaps that still exist. It suggests that globally, and with only a few exceptions, rural women fare worse than rural men and urban women and men for every MDG indicator for which data are available. While data collection along these lines has improved in recent years — in part because of increased donor and government interest — there still remains a general lack of data not only disaggregated by sex, but also by rural and urban areas.

This has an impact on our global ability to confidently monitor progress toward the MDGs for all people in all regions, urban and rural, and particularly where progress is needed most. Rural women play a key role in supporting their households and communities in achieving food and nutrition security, generating income, and improving rural livelihoods and overall well-being. They contribute to agriculture and rural enterprises and fuel local and global economies.

As such, they are active players in achieving the MDGs. Yet, every day, around the world, rural women and girls face persistent structural constraints that prevent them from fully enjoying their human rights and hamper their efforts to improve their lives as well as those of others around them.

In this sense, they are also an important target group for the MDGs. Rural women spend more time than urban women and men in reproductive and household work, including time spent obtaining water and fuel, caring for children and the sick, and processing food. This is because of poor rural infrastructure and services as well as culturally ased roles that severely limit women's participation in employment opportunities see also Goals 3 and 7.

Faced with a lack of services and infrastructure, rural women carry a great part of the burden of providing water and fuel for their households. In rural areas of Guinea, for example, women spend more than twice as much time fetching wood and water per week than men, while in Malawi they spend over eight times more than men on the same tasks.

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Girls in rural Malawi also spend over three times more time than boys fetching wood and water Figure 1. Collectively, women from Sub-Saharan Africa spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water [ 2 ]. For these reasons and because rural women tend to underreport their employment as contributing family members, according to available data female employment in agriculture is consistently lower than it is for men across the total adult population in developing countries, although it varies greatly by region Figure 2.

The jobs of rural women who are employed tend to be shorter term, more precarious and less protected than those of rural men and urban people. The lack of flexible hours to accommodate family work combined with wage and job discrimination and limited representation of women in workers' organizations are partly responsible for this. Despite women's lower overall employment rates, among employed women the proportion working in agriculture as opposed to other sectors is usually equal to or higher than the male equivalent.

Almost 70 Sub women sought of employed women in South Asia and more than 60 percent of employed women in Sub-Saharan Africa work in agriculture [ 3 ]. The substantial involvement of rural women in agriculture, primarily as unpaid or contributing family workers, highlights the importance of developing policies and programmes that address the needs, interests and constraints of women as well as men in the agriculture sector.

This includes revamping and strengthening extension systems to be more responsive to and inclusive of women, addressing structural barriers to women's access to productive resources, and improving financial systems to respond to the needs of rural women producers and entrepreneurs, including to move out of the less productive segments of the rural economy [ 4 ]. On average, women make up about 43 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries. Evidence indicates that if these women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent, raising total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.

For rural women and men, land is perhaps the most important household asset to support production and provide for food, nutrition and income security. Yet an international comparison of agricultural census data shows that due to a range of legal and cultural constraints in land inheritance, ownership and Sub women sought, less than 20 percent of landholders are women [ 6 ]. Women represent fewer than 5 percent of all agricultural land holders in North Africa and West Asia, while across Sub-Saharan Africa, women average 15 percent of agricultural land holders [ 7 ].

Extensive evidence shows that rural female-headed households also have more limited access than male-headed households to a whole range of critical productive assets and services required for rural livelihoods, including fertilizer, livestock, mechanical equipment, improved seed varieties, extension services and agricultural education [ 8 ]. Similarly, in seven out of nine countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, female-headed households were less likely to use credit than male-headed households [ 9 ]. In all developing regions [ 11 ] of the world, rural children are more likely to be underweight than their urban counterparts.

From tothe proportion of children under five in developing regions who were underweight declined from 31 per cent to 26 per cent, yet in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia, the disparity between rural and urban children increased [ 12 ].

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Figure 3 indicates that in South and Central America, rural children are about 1. Improvements in maternal nutrition, access to water and sanitation and health services, all of which are lacking in many rural areas in least developed countries LDCswould also contribute greatly to addressing this situation.

An extra year of primary school increases girls' eventual wages by percent, encourages girls to marry later and have fewer children, and makes them less likely to experience violence [ 13 ], yet in many areas of the world, educating girls is perceived to be less important than educating boys. Furthermore, while ificant progress has been made in reducing the gender gap in primary school enrolment, a large gap remains Sub women sought rural and urban areas. Household data from 42 countries show that rural girls are more likely to be out of school than rural boys, and they are twice as likely to be out of school as urban girls Figure 4.

In rural areas, there is often a greater prevalence of social and cultural barriers, labour requirements and distance "penalties," [ 14 ] that keep girls out of school. In Pakistan, a half-kilometre increase in the distance to school decreases girls' enrolment by 20 percent [ 15 ]. Decreasing the distance to school raises girls' enrolment and attendance; building local schools in rural communities increased girls' enrolment in Egypt, Indonesia and several African countries.

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The cost of education is another barrier, particularly for rural poor families. Women make up over two-thirds of the world's million people who are illiterate, and many of them live in rural areas [ 16 ]. In some countries, far fewer rural women can read and write than rural men. For example, in Cambodia 48 percent of rural women are illiterate compared to 14 percent of rural men, while in Burkina Faso 78 percent of rural women and 63 percent of rural men cannot read and write [ 17 ]. Yet literacy and education can be powerful tools for empowering rural women and fighting poverty and hunger.

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In fact, women who are educated are more likely to be healthy, generate higher incomes, and have greater decision-making power within their households [ 18 ]. Secondary school attendance has implications for future employment and economic opportunities as well as health outcomes. Evidence indicates that rural girls are less likely to attend secondary school than rural boys, and they are far less likely to attend than urban girls.

According to Figure 539 percent of rural girls attend secondary school compared to 45 percent of rural boys, 59 percent of urban girls, and 60 percent of urban boys. Recent data from a of countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America indicate that women are far less likely to participate in rural wage employment both agricultural and non-agricultural than men Figure 6. Instead, they are most active in the informal rural economy, which operates outside of labour standards. Men's average wages are higher than women's in both rural and urban areas, and in some countries, the gap in wages between rural women and men is also wider in rural areas [ 20 ].

Rural women are also more likely to be unpaid contributing family members than rural men Sub women sought 21 ]. Furthermore, rural women typically work longer hours than men, when one takes into both paid productive and unpaid reproductive or domestic and care responsibilities. In Benin and Tanzania, for example, women work, respectively, In most regions, women are under-represented in politics and decision making Progress has been made in women's political representation sinceincluding in Africa and much of Asia, where there have been cases of notable increases in the presence of women parliamentarians.

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Strikingly, Rwanda made great gains, with women now making up 56 percent of the parliament, compared to 17 percent in [ 23 ]. Globally, however, a gender gap in women's access to power, inclusion in decision making, and leadership remains at all levels, including in rural councils. Information available from Asia for indicates that women there represented between 0. A key to ensuring rural women's empowerment and eradicating poverty is to address inequitable gender power relations and persistent norms and beliefs that maintain gender-based violence GBV and harmful traditional practices e.

According to a multi-country study conducted by WHO, rural women report more experiences of physical abuse than urban women Figure 7.

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However, the data from the study show no clear pattern as to whether more rural or urban women are accessing services to assist them in dealing with the abuse. In general, women may doubt that services will offer the help they require. They may also fear for their children's or their own safety if they report abuse. Police, counseling and legal services may be more difficult for women to access in rural than urban areas due, for instance, to a lack of transport and distance to services. Between andall the regions of the world saw a ificant decrease in under-five mortality rates, with some developing regions reaching or approaching targets [ 25 ].

Existing data, however, make it impossible to determine how child mortality varies between rural boys and girls. Although levels of child mortality vary widely between countries, rural rates are usually much higher than urban ones Figure 8. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of rural and overall under-five mortality, but rural areas are often equally disadvantaged in countries with much lower rates of under-five mortality — for example, in Honduras, rural children under five are almost twice as likely to die as urban children.

Of the developing regions, Latin America and the Caribbean and Eastern Asia have comparatively low levels of under-five mortality, but they also have the highest levels of inequality between rural and urban populations Figure 9. Overall, rural children under 5 in developing regions are about Sub women sought. Available information from 68 countries with data on under-five mortality by mothers' education indicates that a woman's education is a key factor in determining whether her children will survive past the first five years of life.

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's chances of surviving increase even further when his or her mother has a secondary or higher education. Children of mothers with no education in the Latin America and Caribbean region are 3.

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These facts suggest that rural women's deficits in education have broader and longer-term implications for family well-being and poverty reduction. Quality reproductive health services and well-timed interventions are fundamental for achieving good maternal health, yet hundreds of thousands of women die each year because of a lack of such services. In most developing regions, rural women have less access to skilled health personnel in delivery, even though the long-standing differences between rural and urban areas have declined in all regions and even been eliminated in a few Figure Between andthe proportion of rural women receiving antenatal care at least once during pregnancy grew from 55 to 66 percent, while corresponding rates for urban women increased from 84 to 89 percent over the same period.

While this would indicate that antenatal coverage has improved at a faster pace in rural areas, a large gap still exists [ 27 ]. Available information from the mids to the mid- to late Sub women sought indicates that some predominantly rural countries where at least 60 percent of the population lives in rural areas have made substantial progress in antenatal care coverage at least 4 visits in rural areas Figure In Asia, Bangladesh made ificant gains in antenatal care coverage, but still remained under 20 percent coverage inwhile India and Nepal also improved, but remained under 30 percent coverage in andrespectively.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia increased coverage by almost 20 percent between andbut most other countries made little or no progress, and many actually saw coverage decrease. Globally, women constituted half of the adults 15 years and older living with HIV in [ 28 ]. Young women are particularly vulnerable to HIV, and they for 64 percent of HIV infections among young people worldwide [ 29 ]. Yet only 33 percent of young men and 20 percent of young women in developing regions have comprehensive and correct knowledge of HIV [ 30 ]. Youth in rural areas, and especially young women, are even less likely to know about prevention methods or to use condoms than their urban counterparts [ 31 ].

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Barriers to early presentation and diagnosis of breast cancer among African women living in sub-Saharan Africa