A woman cannot vote in Kuwait. She cannot drive in Saudi Arabia. She is barred from working on military submarines in Britain, and she is not allowed to work at night in Bolivia except as a nurse or public servant. In Pakistan, if a woman is raped she must have four Muslim adult male witnesses to secure justice, failing which she may herself be considered guilty of fornication.
(Meryl Streep, speaking for Equality Now)
In the old days, I used to teach a senior high school course on global issues. A major issue, of course, was global disparity: the wealth of the northern, developed nations compared to the relative poverty of southern, developing nations.
One aspect of the issue that I would touch upon was the role of female literacy in development. From what we were able to deduce, female literacy is critical to the wealth and development of a nation. For one thing, the boys hate to left behind, and if a country or a community takes steps to draw girls into school and set them on the road the literacy, then the boys will follow — if they aren't already there.
I would have my student produce a map that compared the ratio of female-to-male literacy in the world's countries. It would reveal the countries in which the female literacy rate was equivalent to males and the countries where it was not.
It was stark. The most developed countries showed literary equality while the least developed countries showed that females were lagging far behind — even if male literacy, itself, was low. In short, there is a correlation between female literacy and a country's level of development. In fairness, there are multitudinous factors that account for development, but there is no denying that this is one.
According to the above quote pulled from this article, and with all respect to Bob Dylan, the times they a not a'changin.