Did you know that 70% of people living under $1 a day are women? In celebration of International Women’s Day, I am writing my 100th post and providing some important information about women globally. First observed in the United States on February 28, 1909, it is now celebrated every year on March 8th. Wikipedia includes this information about it:
International Woman’s Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. In some celebrations, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them in a way somewhat similar to Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day mixed together. In others, however, the political and human rights theme as designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
This year the global United Nations theme, which changes each year, is Women and men united to end violence against women and girls. Here are some statistics on violence against women from the United Nations website:
- Today, many women – in some countries as many as one in three – are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetimes.
- Worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
- Half of the women who die from homicides are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.
- For women aged 15 to 44 years, violence is a major cause of death and disability.
- More than 80 percent of trafficking victims are women.
- More than 130 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation.
- 4 out of every 10 births in the world are not attended by a doctor or healthcare professional, resulting in maternal mortality being the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age in developing countries.
- On the basis of data collected from 24,000 women in 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who have been physically abused by their partners have never contacted NGOs, shelters or the police for help.
Here are some other interesting facts about women globally. All are sourced from InternationalWomensDay.com.
- 2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are female and 2/3 of the world’s uneducated children are girls. Educating girls is considered the single most effective strategy for economic growth.
- Women do 2/3 of the world’s work, but receive only 1/10 of the world’s income.
- Females in developing countries on average carry 20 liters (5.3 gallons) of water per day over 6km (3.7 miles).
- Only 21% of all news subjects (people interviewed or whom the news is about) are female.
- The Global Gender Gap Report measures the size of the gender gap (the disparity in opportunities available for men and women) for 130 countries in four critical areas: economic participation and opportunity, health and survival, educational attainment, and political empowerment. Here are how some countries ranked, with 100% representing gender equality.
- Norway, Finland, and Sweden – all around 82%
- Iceland (80%)
- New Zealand (79%)
- Phillippines, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the U.K. – 74% – 76%
- United States (72%) – 27th on the list
- Chad, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Yemen (the worst at 47%) at the bottom of the list
We have a long way to go for women to realize the same rights as men, the same freedoms as men, the same education as men, the same freedom from violence as men, the same health care as men, the same pay as men, etc. etc. Take the time to appreciate the women in your life and all over the world.
Here’s a video about gender equality that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) put together to celebration International Women’s Day. As the video says, “It begins with me, it begins with you, it begins with us.” Take a look.