Today is a day to reflect on the inequalities we face under patriarchy.
Here are just a few of them:
- Two women a week are killed in the UK by their partner or former partner.
- 1 in 4 women will be a victim or survivor of domestic violence and rape in the UK
- This number goes up to 1 in 3 if you're a teenager.
- And the UK conviction rate for rape is stagnant at 6.5%
- And 1 in 3 women globally will be a victim or survivor of rape and sexual assault.
- 60 million girls are sexually assaulted on their way to school across the world.
- 4 million women and girls are trafficked across international borders every year.
- Women do 2/3 of the world's work, but only own 1/10 of the world's property
- Women still earn on average less than their male contemporaries for the same work, and 30,000 women a year in the UK are sacked for being pregnant
- Meanwhile, the government cuts are destroying our domestic violence support services and hitting the purses of women disproportionately.
- There are only 5 women in the UK cabinet and only 22% of our MPs are women
- In the developing world, a woman dies in childbirth every minute.
- Across the world, millions of girls are at risk of female genital mutilation. 20,000 in the UK.
Today is also a day to celebrate our sisters and stand in solidarity across the world with them. There are so many amazing women and men working together to end the inequality, fighting to liberate us all from patriarchy and bring about equality for all.
By speaking out, standing up, marching, writing, talking, reading, sharing and supporting we are all making a difference. However you do your activism, wherever your feminism lies, you are making a difference.
Every time I think about the stats above, I feel sad. Angry. Furious! But I don't feel despair because I believe that change is coming, that we are fighting together to make the change. This inequality, this injustice isn't inevitable. It doesn't have to be this way. And we know that. And that's why we are standing together to say no more!
I hope you all have a fantastic IWD, standing together in solidarity with our sisters and brothers for a better future.
Stat sources: http://www.weareequals.org/; http://www.cwasu.org/; http://www.stopthetraffik.org/language.aspx; http://www.who.int/features/qa/12/en/index.html; http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/research/findings/partner_exploitation_and_violence_wda68092.html; http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/; http://www.dofeve.org/about-us.html