This is the tenth in a series of 15 facts over 15 days that we will be sharing with you to get you up to speed on what’s at stake in 2015.
In 2015, 122 years after the first women’s suffrage movement, all but one country gives women the right to vote. Nevertheless, political participation remains unequal with women comprising 21.9% of parliamentarians globally. While progress has been made in this area, pervasive discrimination against women persists as a result of weak laws and their poor implementation. 2015 is an opportunity to strengthen women’s voices through political participation, as Saudi Arabia finally (hopefully) grants women the right to vote and as global leaders work to entrench gender equality at Beijing +20.
2015 should be the year that gives all girls the opportunity to succeed. Less than a quarter of girls old enough for secondary school are registered to attend. They’re at an age where some communities think they should marry and have a child. But if all teenage girls in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia achieved secondary education, the number of early marriages would be cut by one-third, from nearly 3 million a year to just over 1 million. This would ensure healthier and safer girls and millions of empowered women.