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.
[Developing countries] In addition to the problems that women in developing countries share with all human beings in the poor world - undernourishment, sickness, lack of resources, illiteracy - they also have to face those problems that are specific to women. Because of their status as second-class citizens, it is women who usually account for the highest statistics for illiteracy and lack of material and other resources on international charts. Women generally bear the heaviest burden of marginalization and exploitation by society as a whole. Moreover, they also often suffer oppression and exploitation by men. 60 to 80% of all agricultural work in Asia and Africa is done by women. Also in Africa, women are responsible for 50% of all animal husbandry, and 100% of the food processing.
In male-dominated societies typical of many developing countries, discrimination against females is characterized by: a mortality rate for female infants which is generally higher than that for females; a literacy level that is lower for girls and women; lower female life expectancy; a health and nutritional status which is worse than that for males; a death rate which is higher partly due to very high maternal mortality rates; an adverse population sex ratio; lower food intake by females; lower access to health care; lower employment opportunities and income levels.
By order of the Taleban, the extremist Islamic movement that controls most of the country, Afghan women are not allowed to work or go to school. That means that female doctors, with very few exceptions, cannot practice, and women who want to be doctors cannot be trained. But male doctors are not allowed to see or touch the bodies of female patients. Thus, health care for most women has effectively vanished. Women and girls, including babies, are dying needlessly from illnesses that are left untreated.