The World’s Oppression of Women

Some startling facts for the person who likes the idea of people being treated like people (AKA a feminists). Oppression of women runs through every nation in the world and is a deep seated and disgusting method of men holding their power and privilege. And this is an extremely limited list complied using a cursory google search using terms such as “worldwide oppression of women” or “women genital mutilation.”

  • Street harassment
    1. Street harassment has been getting a lot of press lately. For a satirical definition and views on the subject Jessica Williams of the The Daily Show has done a couple of pieces. Video 1 & Video 2 (both videos contain explicit language).
    2. There are entire websites dedicated to ending the street harassment
    3. Living amongst so many social media websites it is no surprise women have taken to these resources to make their voices heard and begin to fight back against it:
      1. #NotJustHello
      2. #ThatsWhatHeSaid
      3. #YouOkSis
      4. #ShoutingBack (to name a few)
  • Abuse, assault, & rape
    1. The Bureau of Justice Statiscs issued a report in 2012 stating vicitims of intimate partner violence 80% were women.
    2. This report also mentions that women aged 18-34 have the highest risk factor for intimate partner violence.
    3. 2009 is the latest issued year for data collected under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The statistics for rape are as follows; 88,097 people per 100,000 had reported being forcibly raped, that comes in at a rate of 28.7%.
      1. A caution against ranking
  • Mortality rates
    1. According to some statistics there are parts of the globe where women are more likely to die before the age of five than to go to school.
    2. Upwards of 500,000 women die due some sort of complication of childbirth.
    3. (continued from mortality rates, #3) The CDC lists homicide, be it from intimate partner violence or not, among the top ten leading causes of death for women under the age of 45. Their most current data is from 2010, and this is just for women (most likely figures of documented citizens)
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a practice inflicted on girls and women.
    1. FGM, or female circumcision, is carried out in both Middle Eastern and African countries. This procedure consists of, typically, four different methods; Clitoridectomy, Excision, Infibulation, or any other mutilation/disfiguration of the female sexual organs.
    2. In Egypt where this still goes on the harshest penalty enforced for anyone engaging in FGM (which is considered a crime against humanity internationally) is a two year prison sentence and a $700 fine.
      1. The first ever trial with a FGM perpetrator is taking place currently.
    3. There is no medical purpose for this to be done. None.
    4. Though some procedures are performed in clinics still other take place in homes and unsanitary environments with unclean instruments.
      1. One woman details her accounts saying that she and other women were circumcised on a table in the kitchen without the medical instruments being cleaned in between procedures.
    5. This can lead to lifelong complications/discomfort including but not limited to: problems urinating, consistent pain, de-sensation to sexual stimuli, bleeding, and death.
  • Human trafficking for sexual exploitation is a growing business today.
    1. The US State Department, with a very conservative number, “estimates that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked,” annually.
    2. With an astounding 80% of those being women and young girls.
    3. This business earns an estimate of $27.8 billion a year.
  • Objectification
    1. Jean Kilbourne has a video series entitled Killing Us Softly which documents the objectification of women in media and advertising industries.
    2. The news lately has heavily featured reports of high schools across the country have taken to banning some legwear of their female pupils.
      1. Devils Lake High School
      2. Skyview High School
      3. And seven other schools listed in this article.
      4. And so many other examples.


“The surest way to keep people down is to educate the men and neglect the women. If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” – James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey of the Gold Coast (Ghana).





Author’s note: Many of these examples are of national data and statistics only. I would also like it to be known that I am a white woman living in the US so this is written and researched from the perspective of privilege. I do apologize for anything that may show this privilege I tried to leave it out because I believe feminism is for all women not just white women in developed countries.




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