I hate International Women’s Day.
And with every passing year, I hate it even more.
I hate the one-day-every-year that we are supposed to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come — and how far we’ve got to go for equality. Did we need reminding?
Quick history: In 1911, women — and men — took to the streets to demand rights for women to work, to vote, and to hold public office. And so this day was born.
Quick reality: It’s 2023, and we’re not equal anywhere. Not in a single country.
And every year, on March 8, we’re told “Happy International Women’s Day.”
As your resident feminist killjoy, I refuse to be happy about this day. When we’re equal, I’ll be happy about that.
I’ve written a bazillion pieces talking about how things are for women around the world. And nowhere in the world are we fully able to participate in all aspects of social, economic, and political life. How do I know this?!
Here are a few of the bazillion reasons:
The gender gap is real — and it is real big. It will take 132 years for us to close the gender gap, to achieve equality. We are getting worse — in 2020, we needed 100 years to close the gender gap. We’ve lost a whole generation.
Education is closer to equality, but the majority of children who are out of school are girls — that’s 130 million girls worldwide. The majority of people who are illiterate are women — nearly half a billion women and girls cannot read or write. And school isn’t even safe. Roughly 60 million girls are sexually assaulted on their way to or at school every year.
The political gap is widest. Women are dramatically under-represented in positions of power and decision-making. More than 80 countries have never had a woman head of state. Today, only 31 countries are led by women — out of 195 countries in the world.
The economy also discriminates against women, who do the majority of unpaid care work — 76% of it. When women are paid, they still earn less. 77 cents to every man’s dollar. And far less for women of color. Only 6% of companies globally have a female CEO — and she’s still referred to as “the female CEO.”
One in three women and girls will experience some form of violence in our lifetime. I think it’s actually more. And 81% of women have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime — verbal or physical.
So, there’s a lot of work to do. And we all should be doing it — every day.
See more here!