Discrimination against women on the basis of their sex occurs in religion, politics, education, employment, public life, social services, family and marital status, and before the law.
Women and girls are half of the world's population, do two-thirds of the world's work hours, receive a tenth of the world's income and own less than a hundredth of the world's property.
The specific problems of women in certain cultural contexts—strict norms which limit their possibilities of social, intellectual or emotional fulfillment—are added to the general problems of underdevelopment. Very often they find themselves occupying the lowest levels of society in general, and they often lack the knowledge and consciousness to struggle for their own liberation. Or, as is typical of a social group which is exploited and discriminated against, whether for ethnic, economic or sexual reasons, they discriminate against themselves and consequently consider that the discrimination imposed upon them is justified and lose interest in the struggle to free themselves from it.