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Women...a World Survey by Ruth Sivard, 1st edition (1985)
 

Foreword by Liv Ullman

Over the years I have spent much time in the company of women- not only in the great cities of the world, but in small and hidden places in countrysides so impoverished that a woman who finds two or three pieces of firewood after a day’s search counts herself fortunate, while others wait for hours for some drops of water to trickle into their empty buckets. Then there are those of us rushing to our work, collecting pay checks for our efforts, discussing guilt feelings about time spent away from our children.

It is the great merit of Ruth Sivard’s world survey of women that in its pages we discover once again that we are all sisters under the skin.

There are “two and one-half billion women in the world, speaking 2,967 languages and living in countries where the average annual income ranges from under $200 to $30,000 per capita”, she begins. After presenting a wealth of statistical information, she concludes that “Women’s sense of inequality shared has triggered a movement for change which is now emerging everywhere; it differs from earlier drives for equality in being worldwide and focusing on broad issues.”

This too has been my experience as I have traveled the world as an Ambassador of Good Will for UNICEF. The painstaking collection and classification of statistics documenting women’s inequality in health, education, the workplace, in the law and in society irrefutably support my own, often painful, observations and experiences. Ruth Sivard’s Women...a World Survey brings to life the comment of an English physician who said of the science of statistics that, after all, it only represented people with the tears wiped off.

This report is sober evidence that we can trust our senses.

Liv Ullman

Selections from this edition...

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