For example, because fewer women and girls study science, engineering, math, and computer science, there are fewer women in these jobs despite the equal capabilities of boys and girls in science and math. In many countries, girls are forced to marry while they should still be playing with dolls. Many women and girls are denied access to basic services, including healthcare and access to contraception. Across the globe, women and girls spend dramatically more time doing housework and caring for others than men and boys do. Millions of women don’t have access to water, and must walk miles to collect water and/or firewood. Violence disproportionately affects women and girls. The majority of the world’s poor are women and girls. At the current pace, it will take 145.5 years globally for women and men to achieve equal representation in political offices, 4 and at least 60 years for women in the U.S. to achieve the same. 5
It’s not unreasonable to become frustrated when you are confronted with these challenges in your daily life or when you read about them online or otherwise. It’s easy to feel powerless to change things, to give up hope of ever making a difference. And yet, as noted above, there is ample evidence that women are effective agents of change, even if that change doesn’t happen overnight.
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