Women in Developing Countries

Topics: Africa, Third World, Human Development Index Pages: 5 (1908 words) Published: August 18, 2010
Women and Development in the Developing World

Sociology of Developing Countries

Abstract
This paper explores the development of women in Third World countries, most notably, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Issues confronting these women are contrastingly pessimistic but also hopeful. I will research education and its benefit to women and children (African Education Report). I will examine childbirth and mortality rates and how they affect the development of women and what this may mean for the future (Maternal Mortality). By using articles of various writers, I will investigate the role of women in politics, effects of the recession, developmental changes for women and an overall outlook (R. Griffiths).

Women in a Developing World
Women in developing countries are confronted with many issues that need attention and resolution. Education and childbirth and mortality are specific areas where the need is being identified and slowing, some women are experiencing a difference in their lives. Women in lower developed countries (LDCs) are, for the most part, oppressed, treated unfairly, and are short of the many opportunities we enjoy in the West. As citizens of this country, we have basic privileges and rights. Women and girls in LDCs are faced with policies that do not allow them an education. Often, women and girls are exposed to gender discrimination and exclusion (Levine, 2010). That exclusion comes in the form of being required to help out around the house creating less time for school (Levine, 2010). When girls do get the opportunity to sign up for school, they usually face gender-based discrimination and not enough educational resources (Levine 2010). Faced with those obstacles, most of the girls either drop out at the onset of puberty and menstruation due to lack of available bathrooms, running water and or privacy (Levine 2010). According to a large body of evidence, if girls are allowed to get an education the experience positively serves, the local community, the government and the country. The benefits indicate when girls do attend school, their children even become more educated, girls increase the social and economic value of their country, they become an active force in the labor industry, children gain from educated mothers, and the cycle of poverty can be broken (Levine, 2010). Educated women are more likely to contribute to their families, more likely to keep their daughters way from genital mutilation and are more likely to avoid contracting AIDs (Griffiths, 2010). However, the process will take some time. According to Transparency International’s Africa Education Watch Report (Kavuma & Ford, 2010), schools in seven African countries report there is little accountability between grammar schools and parents, parents are rarely involved in the running of schools, financial records are not maintained and schools are inadequately managed (Kavuma & Ford, 2010). To get a real sense of the problems facing education in Africa, 8500 surveys and questionnaires were completed by district education officials, head teachers and parents. Additional results found that many of the school systems were affected by corruption, including embezzlement of public funds (Ford & Kavuma, 2010). In parts of sub-Sahara Africa, only 1-in-5 girls gets an education at all (Alter, 2008). Although school enrollment has increased in several countries in Africa, parents were made to pay registration fees even though attending school is free of charge. Fees charged to parents ranged anywhere from 9-40% (United Press International, 2010). Latin American countries are not faring better than Africa. A study by the Inter-American Development Bank revealed that one in three young people obtain a secondary education (Portillo, 1999), however, in Asia, the number is 80 percent (Portillo, 1999). Due to a decline in school age children, Latin American and the Caribbean are actually reducing the...
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