This discrimination, unjUStifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excUSe for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. At its most repugnant, the belief that women mUSt be subjugated to the wishes of men excUSes slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national LAWs that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities. The same discriminatory THINKING lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of US.