image from www.halftheskymovement.org
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. This means something to me, because I am a woman. This should mean something to everyone, because we’re all responsible for bringing change to the inequality faced by women around the world every single day. That’s why, this year, the theme of IWD is Inspiring Change. We all have a part to play, we can all make an impact, and so we are all called to challenge “the status quo for women’s equality” and be vigilant in inspiring positive change”.
On Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending the 2014 International Women’s Day breakfast, hosted by the UN in Melbourne. There, I was challenged by statistics and stories of the trials that women face, particularly in the developing world and was inspired by speakers including Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner who reminded us all that investing in women is not just good for equality; “investing in women is smart economics”
In the past 20 years, there have been many milestones in gender equality to celebrate.
- In developing regions, antenatal care has increased from 63 percent in 1990 to 81 percent in 2011.
- Maternal mortality has nearly halved since 1990 with an estimated 287,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2010, a significant decline of 47 per cent from 1990.
- Globally, 40 out of every 100 wage-earning jobs in the non-agricultural sector were held by women in 2011. This is a significant improvement since 1990.
But we still have such a long way to go.
- The gender gap in employment persists, with a 24.8 percentage point difference between men and women in the employment-to-population ratio in 2012.
- Violence against women continues to undermine efforts to reach all goals.
- Poverty is a major barrier to secondary education, especially among older girls.
There is much work to be done. But many hands make light work. So what are you going to do to challenge the status quo for women’s equality?
For more information on International Women’s Day please visit this website.
Statistics courtesy of World Vision Australia.
who run the world? girls.