The 8th of March 2018 marked International Women’s Day where all over the world people celebrated the achievements of women and the progress that has been made towards gender equality.
However, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has recently published their research on the Gender Gap for 2017. The conclusion was that gender parity is over two hundred years away. Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and social activist once said “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
This highlights that we all have a part to play in supporting equality for women. No matter our gender, background, sexuality, race or political belief; if you care about human rights, you care about women’s rights. This year also marked the 100th anniversary of the Suffrage Movement in the 1900’s. The Suffrage Movement saw women earn the right to vote in the U.K and was a great initial step to kick-start the fight for equality.
Currently, globally women represent fewer than 50% of leaders in twelve industries studied by the WEF; whilst within other fields such as energy or manufacturing this drops to fewer than 20% of women in high positions. With only a 2% increase in the past decade in terms of women progressing to high position jobs in these twelve sectors it shows the sheer backwardness of many industries currently in the world.
Truth be told, women are as capable if not more, than men to fill these high position roles within companies. Within such a patriarchal society that still exists today, some industries and countries still view women as inferior and inadequate. According to the WEF, industries such as legal, finance and real estate have all increase their rate of hiring women for leadership positions and state “Increasing the proportions of women leaders – both through improved hiring rates for leadership positions, as well as building strong internal pipelines for promotion – could be the start of a virtuous circle, eventually leading to more equity of economic opportunity for women globally.”
In addition this year we have seen many women speak up about the sexual harassment that goes on in Hollywood especially. Dozens of women came out and spoke up about the derogatory treatment they received by their male counterparts in the industry. Another step towards equality would be for men to be brought to justice (i.e. lose credibility and their jobs) for treating women like sex objects to show that actions have consequences.
Some men still feel that they are entitled to speak to or feel a women in a sexual manner purely because of what is in their boxers; that is not the case and other men must not stand for this. Women and men who disagree with these unwanted approaches made upon women must speak up and be vocal against it. We need to teach children from a young age that sexual harassment and sexual assault are not okay and what to do if you have been a victim of this.
From a young age it is easy for children to become brainwashed by the TV and Music Industry so we must challenge these views and instil morals in them so that these children can grow up and bring about a society where sexual harassment is less common because women are seen as equal.
We all have a part to play in the fight for equality and together we can bring about gender equality quicker and make it a reality. We wish you all the best in the fight for women’s rights.
“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”