Women's College Research Institute

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Speaking out against global gendered oppression

Fall 2011

Dr. Du Mont

Dr. Janice Du Mont, scientist at Women's College Research Institute and associate professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, along with her colleague Dr. Deborah White, have authored an editorial that was recently published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (BMJ).

In "Seeking a better world for women and girls: A moral and political movement to end gendered oppression is needed", Du Mont cites facts and statistics to contextualize the grim reality that women continue to be the victims of "insidious, systemic, and widespread oppression" on a global scale.

Excerpt (references removed):
Up to a billion women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in their lifetime. Four out of five of the estimated 800 000 people trafficked across borders annually are women and girls, most of whom are targeted for sexual exploitation. More girls have been killed simply because they were girls in any single decade than people were murdered in all the genocides of the 20th century. Furthermore, the claim that childbirth is almost as deadly as ever remains true. In 2008, 358 000 maternal deaths were reported globally, 99% of which occurred in developing countries. Because of a lack of available appropriate health services, for each woman who dies, 20 others endure long term ill health.

Du Mont and White close by calling for action "to end the deplorable state of so many lives in both developing and industrialised countries" and to " challenge indifference," arguing that "the task is immense but not insurmountable." 

Read BMJ editorial

Du Mont, J., & White, D. (2011). Seeking a better world for women and girls. A moral and political movement to end gendered oppression is needed. BMJ (British Medical Journal), 343, d5712

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