Why are there 112 genders

Closing the gender gap

Discrimination on the basis of sex

In Germany, gender discrimination is particularly evident in the poorer pay of women. In many countries in the Global South, girls have poorer educational opportunities than boys, and in China and India tens of millions of girls never even come into the world because they are deliberately aborted.

Gender discrimination can take cruel forms.
Carsta Neuenroth, gender officer

Common role models lead to violence

The various forms of violence women and girls are exposed to around the world show how deeply discrimination and contempt for women are anchored in society. According to the WHO, one in three women will be beaten or sexually abused at some point in their lives. Girls are forcibly married as minors in order to relieve the parents' household financially and to quickly take on the intended role of mother and housewife. In South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, around half of all women now aged 20 to 24 were married before their eighteenth birthday.

In the countries in which genital mutilation is practiced, around 50 percent of women and girls are affected. Abortion of female fetuses leads to a marked gender imbalance, especially in India and China. In China, there are currently around 32 million more men than women among the under-20s. The consequences are trafficking in women and even more forced marriages. In Europe too, fetal abortions are increasing simply because they are female. In Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia or Kosovo there are around 112 live-born boys for every 100 girls, of course around 102 are boys.


Gender equality as a way out of hunger and poverty


Men cling to their privileges

These are all grave human rights violations that are rooted in a patriarchal understanding of masculinity and femininity. As long as this worldview persists, there can be no peaceful societies based on equality, mutual recognition and respect. But conservative forces see changes in the gender order as a massive threat because they shake their own position. Discrimination should therefore maintain the existing order and secure one's own privileges. Under these circumstances, women and men are forced into roles and behavioral patterns that severely limit their options for decision-making and development.

Changes are possible

Gender-related discrimination can only be overcome if women and men break away from familiar role models and work together for gender equality. For a long time, development cooperation has mainly addressed women. However, it is women and men who have to change their attitudes and question the patriarchal balance of power, thinking and behavior in order to reduce discrimination and achieve equality. In addition, the legislature must take sharp action against all forms of violence against women and combat their disadvantage in society, politics and the economy. In many countries in the Global South, for example, this means enabling women as well as men to pass on their citizenship, to own and inherit land.

What bread does for the world

We work with our partner organizations to ensure that all people, regardless of their gender identity, have the same opportunities. All projects - from improving agricultural practices to promoting democracy - are aimed at reducing the gender gap and eliminating discrimination. We see people who are discriminated against because of their gender not only as victims, but also as a strong force in the commitment to a just world. Within the framework of networks such as VENRO, we are also working to ensure that the German government also takes gender issues more into account in development cooperation.

Project in Nicaragua

Women fight for their rights and fair wages


What you can do

Check yourself out. What about your images of masculinity and femininity? How much do these affect your expectations of men and women? Do you know people who were unable to realize their plans and wishes because of their gender? Defend yourself against these restrictions. Do something that contradicts the gender clichés that still exist with us. How does your environment react? Discuss your ideas with friends, colleagues and family members. Take action if you or others are discriminated against based on gender. And support Bread for the World. Your donation can help reduce gender-based discrimination in the Global South.

Take-away material

Equal rights against malnutrition

More than two billion people suffer from malnutrition, 1.4 billion of whom are women and girls. Therefore, gender-differentiated strategies are necessary that also take structural and social factors into account, as this study shows.

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