Gender Voice and Correlations with Peace
The statistics regarding violence in today???s society are staggering. A newly released study published by the World Health Organization, making headlines in the Wall Street Journal (Oct. 3, 2002) reports that ???Violence Took 1.6 Million Lives in 2000.??? Notably, this report considers only the data obtained from the seventy countries that report such statistics to the World Health Organization. It does not include reports from many countries whose violence is also high, such as Burundi, Rwanda, Iraq, Liberia and Afghanistan. This manuscript seeks to address some of these issues of violence by considering issues of gender. We pose the question whether there may be some correlation between violence and the lack meaningful involvement of women in the economy. If the countries that appear more violent are also countries where women are systematically excluded from business opportunities, perhaps one way to curb some of the societal violence would be to improve the opportunities for women in the economy. Multi-national corporations can play an important role in increasing these opportunities. As has been argued elsewhere, a reduction in poverty promotes stability and leads to a more peaceful society. Studies show that in developing countries, involving women in the economy as wage earners can reduce poverty. As the locus of production shifts away from the home, an initial decline in employment opportunities may occur. However, this eventually disappears and both women and men benefit.
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