Fight for equality risks exacerbating violence against women - campaigners
COPENHAGEN, May 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Women's battle for equality is bringing benefits in health, finance and political participation but there could be an ugly side-effect - rising levels of violence against them.
Campaigners at Women Deliver, the world's largest conference on women's health and rights in a decade, said many men saw women's increasing empowerment as a threat to their masculinity.
"It's something we observe in many parts of the world," said Babatunde Osotimehin, head of the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA).
"We need to work with men to make them feel less threatened about their wives."
He cited Bangladesh as an example of a country where there were signs of increased gender based violence as women improved their status, became more educated and entered paid work.
Osotimehin also described visiting a project in Mexico which was helping women expand their coffee businesses.
The increased profits had helped them send their children to school, but their success was fuelling resentment among their husbands.