In this programme ‘Life’ looks at progress in achieving greater equality for women – five years after the Beijing Conference on Women. Government delegations in Beijing pledged to tackle increasing violence against women. But in South Africa, ‘Life’ finds, the police and judiciary still don’t regard rape and domestic violence as serious crimes – with only one in 20 rapists receiving a conviction, and the punishment for wife-killing equal to that for fraud. In Lithuania, violence takes a more subtle form, with economic hardship forcing many young women into the hands of unscrupulous traffickers who sell women into the sex industry in Europe and the Far East. On reproductive rights, ‘Life’ analyses the soaring rate of teenage pregnancies in Scotland, while ageing populations in Brazil mean that more and more old people live out the final years of their lives in poverty. With contributions from women film-makers in Brazil, Fiji, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland and South Africa.
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