Today is International Women’s Day! The theme is ‘Step It Up for Gender Equality!”
As I write this I am thinking ‘What an incredible time to be a woman!’ I am proud to be a woman and accomplish the things I have so far in my life. But as I look over the statistics, I realize there is still so much work to do.
Yes, The US Department of Defense has opened all combat jobs to women and THREE brave Sisters have already graduated from US Army Ranger School! While we salute these women there is still more work to do.
The statistics are alarming:
- Over a third of women have experienced physical/sexual violence by a partner and/or sexual violence by a non-partner in their lifetime.
- An EU survey showed that 34% of women with a health problem or disability had experienced violence by a partner in their lifetime, compared to 19% of women without a health problem or disability.
- Women bear the bulk of the caring responsibility for children, the elderly and the sick, spending as much as ten times more time a day on unpaid care work than men. (World Bank)
- Around the world, women are paid less than men, in most countries earning on average 60%-75% of men’s wages. (World Bank)
While the statistics are alarming, there is still much to celebrate on this International Women’s Day:
- The percentage of women with degrees has risen from 19% in 1996 to 43% in 2014.
- Women report being happier and more satisfied with their lives than men.
- Girls who complete primary and secondary education are likely to earn income, have fewer unwanted pregnancies and break the cycle of poverty.
This is a day to celebrate women around the globe. While we are fighting for protection and equality, we celebrate our uniqueness. We celebrate our strengths and skills we share to help make the world a better place. Yes, there is more work to do but we celebrate that hundreds of countries around the globe acknowledge this day as International Women’s Day. We celebrate that there is a day set aside around the globe dedicated to shining a light on the issues that affect women. Salute to you my Sister!