Data and Society
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Data and Society

Visualizations: Equality of Women Compromised

In my visuals, 3 indicators, which are related to abuse and decision making both in the public and private life, are used to reflect on how the legal equality of women is compromised. In the first visual the indicator used is the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments, it indicates how women are underrepresented, and have no power to influence the country’s public affairs and constitutions. In the second visual, the indicator used is financial abuse, which a lot of countries do not include in the legislation of domestic violence against women. Lastly, the third visual’s indicator is abortion upon request, where surprisingly many countries stand in the face of women who do not want to carry or give birth to their own child.

Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (www.ipu.org).

Calculations:

The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments is the number of seats held by women members in single or lower chambers of national parliaments, expressed as a percentage of all occupied seats; it is derived by dividing the total number of seats occupied by women by the total number of seats in parliament. This indicator covers the single chamber in unicameral parliaments and the lower chamber in bicameral parliaments. It does not cover the upper chamber of bicameral parliaments. Seats are usually won by members in general parliamentary elections and may also be filled by nomination, appointment, indirect election, rotation of members and by-election. These seats refer to the number of parliamentary mandates, or the number of members of the parliament.

Indicator and its Significance:

The highest position, or in other words the position of power in every single country is that of the parliament. While we see more men taking these positions than women, we conclude that men run the system enforced on women, making them have no or little decisions in their countries’ affairs. Probably, if there were more women in the parliament, gender issues would have been addressed in the laws, and sanctions would have been implemented, considering that men might do as an effective job in that matter to maintain the hierarchy. Through the proportions we have seen, gender inequalities remain pervasive worldwide. But while disparities exist throughout the world, they are most prevalent in developing countries. Gender inequalities in the allocation of political voice matter because of the strong association with well-being, productivity, and economic growth. Women are vastly underrepresented in decision-making positions in government. Without representation at this level, it is difficult for women to influence policy. A strong and vibrant democracy is possible only when parliament is fully inclusive of the population it represents. Parliaments cannot consider themselves inclusive until they can boast the full participation of women.

Sources: nomore.org & Google Doc spreed sheet — World Bank

Calculations:

In this visual, I have researched the number of women who have suffered financial or economic abuse in their relationships. I found out that 25% of women worldwide have suffered from this form of abuse. Moreover, instead of putting it as it is, I changed the percentage format to a number out of a number format to emphasize the count of women, thus personalizing the situation.

I further examined whether these women are protected by the law from this form of violence, where I found that 52 out of the 99 countries that present data do not even have legislation on the subject matter, which puts us under concern; if the law doesn’t protect the financial life of a woman doesn’t that make her independence on stake?

Indicator and its Significance:

Women are more prone to be financially abused, and in most countries domestic violence legislation do not include this form of violence. Most researchers, governments, and countries have focused on physical, sexual, and psychological manifestations in regard to violence against women, disregarding the financial or economic abuse. Economic abuse includes limited access to funds and credit which controls the access to health care, education, and resources. Thus, a woman that is financially abused has to depend on the perpetrator to get her basic needs in life including hospitalization, education, nourishment and resources. Unlike her boyfriend, husband, father, brother etc. the victim of financial abuse can’t or is even banned (by him) to have a job and get access to money, which compromises her equality. These women are also excluded from financial decision making; and discriminatory traditional laws on inheritance, property rights, and use of communal land. Unfortunately, economic violence results in deepening poverty and compromises educational attainment and developmental opportunities for women. It leads to physical violence, promotes sexual exploitation, maternal morbidity and mortality, and trafficking of women and girls. Economic abuse may continue even after the woman has left the abusive relationship, for she will always have the feeling of dependency.

Source: Google Docs spread sheet — UN

Calculations:

Indicator and its Significance:

According to data between 194 countries 57 say yes to women who want to abort their embryo and 135 would say no. This is simply how I displayed my content in this visual, for it shows that women are not allowed to decide what goes on with their own bodies. Pregnancy and childbirth serve to restrict women’s ability to practice in society on equal footing with men, since carrying and raising a child are obviously time consuming. Thus, only If women have the right to choose whether or not to have children can they achieve equality with men: men don’t get pregnant, and so aren’t restricted in the same way. The right to control one’s own body is a key moral right, and one that women could only achieve if they were entitled to abort an unwanted fetus. Thus, if she was to be deprived from doing so she would also be deprived of that moral right.

Conclusion:

Although the above data gives an overall idea about the discussed gender inequality, it however, fails to pinpoint the problems that lie underneath. For example, it is true that the number of women lag the number of men in the parliament but is that so because women refrain from participating in the elections or is it really a man’s world? Is the blame to fall on men or women in this aspect? Which gender is responsible for this inequality exactly? Etc. The data didn’t answer these questions it only opened for asking them. Moreover, in regards to financial abuse the data above suggested that women are more prone to face such an abuse; however it did not determine whether the father, brother or husband is the perpetrator in most cases. In that subject as well, the data also mentioned that most of the countries do not include financial abuse in their legislation, however the data did not answer why, nor did it inspect if the countries that had these laws implicated the sanctions. Lastly, the third visual showed a broad picture of abortion and didn’t touch on details such as did she revert to illegal abortion? , did she die because of an illegal abortion? , did she suicide for not being able to get rid of the embryo?, do these countries support in raising the child if a mother is not able to take responsibility? etc. having these kind of info would’ve emphasized that women in fact face vast problems that should not be overlooked.

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