During the 2011 World Bank Annual Meetings, we decided to give the highest visibility to the topic of gender equality in connection with the World Development Report 2012.
The report details the need of the world to close the big gender gaps that exist in order to pursue a path of true development for many countries. There is global progress, for example, in education.
But in other metrics, the data on gender equality is appalling:
Worldwide, women make up the majority of unpaid workers. And violence against women is still widespread.
These last months, mobilization and participation has been strong all around the world.
The hashtag #thinkEQUAL was mentioned nearly 16,000 times on Twitter, reflecting the participation of Internet users. We created special pages, webcasts, chats, videos, photo galleries, polls, and special content in several languages to include as much audience as possible, but also to encourage participation around this main issue.
Five months later gender equality is still our priority. That is why we are launching today "Women of the World," a photo collection that you can download on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
Our partner, Fotopedia , brings to your device a worldwide photo exhibit of 500 portraits of women.
Through the app, users will encounter women from every corner of the globe and witness their fighting spirit in the face of human, political, and religious events.
The app explores the stunning images of a bride at her wedding in Singapore, a woman whose daughter had just been saved from malaria, women mine-sweeping the fields of Cambodia, nuns in the convents in France, girl-soldiers in Mozambique along with other portraits that compose this magnificent sociological study.
Every photo is accompanied by captions with information from the WDR 2012 report that summarizes the state of gender equality in the country where the picture was taken.
Want to see the portrait of women in a particular country? Use the map to dive on a continent, a country, or a region and find all photos taken at a specific location on the planet.
This is not the first mobile application the Bank has launched – they are all listed here. But this is the first time the Bank has launched a mobile application to support a major awareness campaign.
It's now your turn to give a new dimension to the fight for gender equality: Each picture can be shared with your friends and networks via email, Facebook and Twitter. And each time you do so, the application will offer to add the keyword #thinkEQUAL to your message.
So share the photos and invite people to join the global conversation. We think it’s time to increase women’s economic opportunity and their voice in decision making.
The time is now.
It’s time to think EQUAL!