Things have changed dramatically for the world’s women since Christian Aid was founded 75 years ago. On the whole, this change has been for the better, with significant progress on women’s rights and working towards gender parity. We have seen the decline of child marriage, a decrease in the number of women and girls who have been subjected to female genital mutilation, and more women represented in national parliaments. We have seen historically unprecedented reductions in maternal mortality, gains in women’s health and education, and progress towards gender equality through new legislation and the reform of existing laws.
This progress is worth celebrating, but there is still a long way to go. Women and girls are over-represented among the world’s poor. They are more likely to be denied the right to an education and to be victims of human trafficking. Patterns of violence and discrimination are often established in childhood, and gender-based violence (GBV) is perpetrated against girls, especially after puberty, when they are considered to be women in many cultures.