Thursday, 8 March 2012

Happy International Women's Day

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. 
Meanwhile, all too often women are mocked and degraded as sex objects, are commercially sexually exploited and we're swamped in a cultural femicide that sidelines women's voices, stories and truths. And if you decide to speak out against that, then you're threatened, judged on your fuckability or simply ignored.


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:


Lori said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this post! It's amazing how often we forget the struggles we've had to overcome and the struggles that still face us in the future!

Mrs Gold said...

Brilliant post. And lots to think about.

T said...

It is still important to look at the other side of line as well...

Women under 30 in the US earn 8% more than their male peers. (See UK:
Men are the majority of unemployed, but also the majority of primary breadwinners. Men are more likely to be homeless, but less likely to have access to social programs.
Men die 7 years sooner than women, but less than half as much public money is spent on their health.
93% of workplace deaths: male.
70-85% of suicides: male.
95% of the incarcerated: male.
More likely to be arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted and serve time for ANY crime under equivalent circumstances: male.
Minority of people alive today with high school diplomas and university degrees: male.
Majority of people who lose custody of/contact with their kids after divorce: male.
The only demographic in the west who can be forced into parenthood: male

You may have already seen data comparing how young American males and females are doing today, but one of the best comparisons comes from Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, in his oft-cited "For every 100 girls..." Here is a sampling of his statistics:

For every 100:

• women ages 25-29 who have at least a bachelor's degree, there are 83 men who do.
• women ages 25-29 who have a doctoral degree, there are 80 men who do.
• females ages 15-24 who kill themselves, 586 males do.
• girls who are suspended from high school, there are 215 boys who are suspended.
• women ages 18-24 who are in correctional facilities, there are 1439 men who are.

>"...girls are at risk of female genital mutilation. 20,000 in the UK"
And little boys?

Here is a very interesting (and short) lecture at The London School of Economics and Political Science as part of a TEDx event about gender equality.

Do you feel "sad, angry, furious" at those Stats or does it not matter?

Thank you for reading.