Is a day for Women really needed in the 21st century?

GenderOn Tuesday this week the world embraced and around the globe people ‘Pledged for Parity’ as part of the 2016 campaign. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites were full of related content, hashtags and support for females everywhere. And being in the UK it can be difficult to understand why there is still a need to raise the profile of female:male equity when it feels like we live in a more equal world today.

But looking closely it is clear that there is still a long way to go, both in the UK and globally, to achieve more equity.

When IWD first started in 1911, British women didn’t have the vote, but they did get it in 1918. Females in Saudi Arabia only got the vote last year.

Four out of five victims of human trafficking are girls.

Women make up only 17% board directors of FTSE 100 companies. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission estimates it will take 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies.

Cuts to public sector jobs affect women disproportionately because women make up two thirds of the workforce. And up to 30,000 women are sacked each year simply for being pregnant and each year an estimated 440,000 women lose out on pay or promotion as a result of pregnancy.

Women are outnumbered 5 to 1 by men in the cabinet, only 16% of senior ministerial posts are held by women.

Just 23% of reporters on national daily newspapers in the UK are women with only 1 female editor of a national daily.

Approximately 70% of people in national minimum wage jobs are women.

Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of a billion more women are in the global workforce today than a decade ago, but they are only earning what men did in 2006.

And one in 10 married women are not consulted by their husbands on how their own cash earnings will be spent.

A few facts out of the several hundred out there. Yes there is a long way to go to achieve equality across both business and home life, and it is definitely about more than just about money. One day a year may not be much but it has helped raise awareness of many terrible situations that women face on a daily basis across the world. And it shows just how far the world has come, but also just how far it has to go until IWD is not about seeking parity but rather celebrating it.

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