International Women’s Day has its origins from early in the 20th century. Women advocated for equal rights as they began to join the work force. We now celebrate this day in honor of all that women have accomplished since then and over the centuries. Ordinary women have shown courage, determination and strength in their communities and throughout the world.
International Women’s Day exists to bring more attention to ongoing issues concerning women including:
- Violence against women. One third of women in the world will experience violence of some type in their lifetimes. There are also barriers against reporting certain types of violence, sexual assault in particular. Only 10% of these types of crimes are reported and even afterward, the perpetrators are rarely caught or held accountable.
- Pay inequity. An example is the U.S. Women working full time at the same jobs as men are paid 80% of what their male counterparts are paid. Progress in addressing this has actually stalled in recent years instead of moving more quickly. The pay gap even varies by states. New York has the smallest pay gap while Louisiana has the largest.
- The right to education. Approximately 16 million girls will never see the inside of a classroom. Though in some areas of the world boys are at a disadvantage, education is still seen as something which women don’t necessarily need. Large gaps still exist in the right to education in many countries with females coming out the losers. For women who do get degrees in higher education, it will be more difficult for them to find a job in their field than it would be for a man with the same degrees.
This year, participate in events for International Women’s Day. In many ways women’s rights seem to be getting less and less important with no improvement shown in the last several decades. Click here for more information.