Politics Magazine

From the Archives – The Silenced Majority

Posted on the 05 May 2011 by Center For International Private Enterprise @CIPEglobal

From the archives – The silenced majorityEditors’ note: In anticipation of Democracy that Delivers for Women: An international conference on women’s empowerment taking place June 20-21 this year, the CIPE Development Blog is reaching back into its archives for posts tagged ‘women’.

An estimated 16 million South Africans lack an operating water supply at home, and have to walk an average of one kilometer to the nearest water source. Given the average South African household is five people, that’s 3.2 million households. One household member, almost always a female, typically makes two trips daily – that’s four kilometers walked a day. Give or take a busy day at the water source, it takes about an hour to make the trip. 6.4 million trips equals 12.8 million kilometers walked, and 6.4 million hours of fetching water – which is usually of suspect quality. You’ll find similar situations for women across the developing world.

They’re expected to bear the brunt of household work even in Bangladesh, where the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (a CIPE Partner) grew from 24 founding members in 2001, to over 1,500 in 2008. As women in Bangladesh and elsewhere gain monetary wealth and economic power, they remain time-poor because of their dual roles in the home; and they remain politically poor because political systems have always and everywhere favored men over women. Women in the U.S. celebrate this week only the 88th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s Ratification, guaranteeing their right to vote.

In the history of political systems, that’s a blink of an eye.

When democracies only have to account for less than half the population (in most countries women outnumber men), they only need to appeal to less than a quarter of voters. That doesn’t sound very democratic, but for most of democracy’s history around the world, that was reality; and today the world still suffers the consequences of such an illiberal practice – the lawfully silenced majority of people around the world, women.

The recent history of universal suffrage has produced more than enough evidence that as women go, prosperity goes. As this article from this week’s Christian Science Monitor notes, the more knowledge, power, and freedom women have, the better off everyone in any economy becomes.

Universal suffrage has made great strides, but democratic institutions around the world still retain old biases; especially when it comes to education, healthcare, and property rights. In the words of one woman, Fannie Lou Hamer, we’re not where we ought to be; we’re not where we’re going; but I’m sure glad we’re not where we were.

Original post.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Video: SalomonTV Takes Us on a Dream Trip to Nepal

    Video: SalomonTV Takes Dream Trip Nepal

    If you could go on a dream trip, where would it be? For trail runner Tyler Courville, it would be a visit to Nepal to go running with National Geographic... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Kungfujedi
  • 5 Ice Cream Shops Keeping Chicago Cool This Summer

    Cream Shops Keeping Chicago Cool This Summer

    There’s no better sweet treat during summertime than ice cream. When the sun is out and temperatures climb higher, warm desserts just can’t compete. Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago
  • Coqui Coqui Residences

    Coqui Residences

    The chill and laid back subtle bohemian modern rustic elegance of the Coqui Coqui residences is undoubtedly the best way to drift away on a hectic Tuesday... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Myparadissi
  • First Look: Christian Actress Meagan Good In Election Night Romance

    First Look: Christian Actress Meagan Good Election Night Romance

    ChristianNews We have the first look pics of Christian actress Meagan Good in an election night romance drama starring opposite Omari Hardwick. Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Firstladyb
  • Sedo Weekly Sales Led by Leem.com

    Sedo released their weekly sales and Leem.com was the top sale at $30,000. OnlyYou.com sold for $27,000. Songs and movies have both been titled Only You, so thi... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Worldwide
  • Combining Posts

    Combining Posts

    Due to illness (not mine) it's been a while since I've been out either on the patch or further afield, today I finally made it out for a morning stroll around... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Ashley Crombet-Beolens
  • Sir Roger Moore – Always Living in the Fast Lane…

    Roger Moore Always Living Fast Lane…

    Today at the age of 89 years, the film actor and former "James Bond", Sir Roger Moore passed away, after a short battle with cancer. He was the longest serving... Read more

    The 23 May 2017 by   Solarisastro