Bridging the Urban Divide
Originally posted by Karin Dryhurst at Next American City. Karin is blogging a conference on Women's Health and Cities for the magazine.
Last week the World Urban Forum met in Rio to talk about "bridging the urban divide."
As professor Eugenie Birch pointed out, Rio provides a stark backdrop for a discussion about the urban divide with one if five people living in favelas "propped up next to luxury apartments."
But Birch noted that though not all cities provide such stark pictures, the level of poverty in developed cities can be just as drastic. Take Philadelphia, the birthplace of the wealthiest country in the world. Close to a quarter of Philadelphians live in poverty compared to a third of the global urban population. Why should we talk about urban poverty at a conference on women's health?
More than 70 percent of the global urban poor are women, women who must head households often without the job opportunities and income they need. And in a city like Philadelphia, with the third highest proportion of women to men, you can bet the trend stands.
And because, as Penn President Amy Gutmann said, evidence shows that better access to health care for women and their families leads to better education, better job opportunities, and better communities.