In recent years, conversations about the gender gap seems to be happening everywhere. But, what exactly is the gender gap, and how do we close it? The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index is a yearly report that addresses this question. This index, now in its 14th edition, records gender inequalities and how they change over time. It shows how we’re progressing, how large the gaps still are, and how we can close them for good. A gender gap is...
As the world continues to grow digitally, online advocacy is becoming an increasingly essential tool to uplift the voices of everyone fighting inequality. Rosebell Kagumire is one such voice filling the digital realm. She is a pan-African feminist, writer and award-winning blogger. Her work — published internationally on sites like the Guardian and Quartz — focuses on human rights, peace, conflict and gender equality. In 2008, she was recognized for her work by the Ugandan Investigative Journalism Awards. She was...
Growing up with her grandparents on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, Lisa Michael Jones has witnessed the hardships of Tanzanian farmers. She remembers the time in 2016 when her grandfather invested in a large portion of land to start production of watermelons, just to see the harvest fail and return home empty-handed. “After that loss, I haven’t seen my grandpa cultivate a large piece of land again. Now he just farms at a small plot close to our house,”...
We’re all familiar with the cliche: children are the future. But it’s repeated over and over for a reason: it is accurate, and critical. The lives and experiences of youth today will be the basis of the future. If we want to create the best possible tomorrow, children need to experience the best possible today. Wadi Ben-Hirki is a youth activist and philanthropist in Nigeria focused on helping marginalized communities, particularly women and youths, access education and opportunities they are...
The fights against gender inequality and preventable diseases are often considered two separate fights. But these two issues are closely connected, affecting each other in crucial ways. The goals of achieving gender equality and universal access to health services rely on each other. Dr. Joannie Marlene Bewa is a world-renowned doctor and activist from Benin. She is also a public health researcher at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, focused on adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive...
Zanzibar’s teenage girls are often expected to assist with cooking and housekeeping. But 15-year-old Aisha Bakary had a different idea of how to spend her time. As the oldest of nine siblings, she would find spare moments to turn up the volume on the TV or the radio, listening to lounge, house, afro and traditional taarab music. Nearly 10 years later, 24-year-old Aisha has made music her career. “There are no women DJs here in Zanzibar, so I thought I...
The fight for gender equality requires action on multiple fronts. It happens in many places, from communities to court rooms, pushed by citizens and politicians alike. But while many democracies already have constitutionally promised equality, the reality faced by women and girls says differently. When this happens, how do we hold governments accountable to the promise of equality? Melene Rossouw, a lawyer in South Africa, is fighting for gender equality through democratic power and advocacy. Rather than advocating the government...
The word “scary” likely brings to mind creepy creatures, spooky specters, masked murderers, or any number of iconic horror images. But “global development” likely isn’t the first scary thing that enters your mind. While it won’t be the topic of the next big horror movie, some of the challenges facing development can be truly horrifying. From extreme poverty, to gender equality, to corruption, these issues affect millions of people worldwide. Even the most vicious, havoc-wreaking creature of the night wouldn’t...
Black Queen is a Senegalese rapper with a taste for activism and campaigning. She has joined ONE’s campaign to end gender-based violence in Senegal. Here’s her story. This article discusses physical assault. One evening, coming home from a concert, some men attacked me and took everything I had with me. I was beaten and wounded during this attack. The resulting trauma made me realize the seriousness of the domestic, physical and verbal violence suffered by thousands of women around the...
Every child has the potential to achieve astounding things. But for girls everywhere, that potential is cut short by discrimination and inequality. This International Day of the Girl, we’re looking to activists who have faced these hurdles and overcome them. We asked gender equality activists what they would say to their younger selves. Their words of advice and encouragement are sure to empower anyone in the fight for equality. Here are six powerful quotes to inspire the next generation of activists: “Find...