9 March 2007


In the lead up to International Women’s Day which was celebrated this past week, the Holy See's permanent observer, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, reminded the United Nations that women "bear the brunt of the world's child prostitution, sexual exploitation, abuse, domestic violence, child labour and human trafficking".

In continuing call to governments to honour their commitments to achieving the Millenium Development Goals organizers of the Make Poverty History Campaign this week also drew attention to the fact that women also disproportionately bear an unjust burden of economic hardship. This is revealed by the fact that:-

* Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty around the world, 70% are women.
* Two-thirds of children denied primary education are girls, and 75% of the world’s 876 million illiterate adults are women.
* Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, produce half of the world's food, and yet earn only 10% of the world's income and own less than 1% of the world's property.

On the same website can be found a letter writing guide encouraging Australia to increase its support for the Global Fund for Aids, TB and Malaria - an extremely important area of development work.

The Australian Government is currently developing the 2007-2008 budget. This is an ideal time to contact politicians and urge them to make a greater contribution to achieving the MDGs especially given the Government’s performance to date has fallen short of what is required.

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