Its no secret to you wonderful readers that I am a feminist! So in a series of posts over the coming weeks, I am going to be challenging some of the myths that surround feminism (next week) and attempting to lower the level of stigma about the “f word”.
So to start with I thought that I would give you 17 reasons why I am a feminist!
1. Because equality benefits us all.
- “When women and men have equal opportunities, poverty rates drop more rapidly for everyone. Reducing inequality between women and men is critical to cutting in half the number of people in poverty by 2015.” The UN.
- It is no coincidence that the happiest countries in the world are also the most equal societies too. Norway, Sweden and Switzerland continue to feature in the top ten of both of these leagues. The UN.
2. Because we aren’t there yet.
- Despite women doing 60% of the worlds work and producing 50% of the worlds food, women only receive 10% of the worlds earnings and only own 1% of the worlds property. The UN.
3. Because for the first time since 2008 the pay gap between men and women has widened, with men now earning £5000 more than women on average.
4. Because despite women now serving in the police, the fire brigade and the army, the word “girl” is still used as an offense.
5. Because despite making up 52% of the worlds population women are underrepresented in political arenas around the world.
- Only 28% of the UK’s parliament is female, a figure that only grew after Tony Blair introduced all-women shortlists and not, as many believe, because of Margret Thatcher.
- This is a figure that can be changed, as is being proven in countries across the world and even in our own. In Wales for example (yay) the Welsh Assembly is made up of 44% female. A figure that is far more representative (this is about a figure as equal as possible and not about women dominating). Whilst widely unpopular, positive discrimination (affirmative action) works as a short-term means to increase the number of women in parliament. Rwanda’s parliament is led by females, which is partially as a result of affirmative action (30% of people on public boards must be women).
6. Because “Page 3” and “Lads Mags” continue to objectify and disrespect woemn, reducing them to a body that is judged on attractiveness.
7. Because women are misrepresented in the media.
- Used to “sell” music and music videos.
- How many adverts do you see that shows women in the kitchen?
- Film and TV constantly portray women as narrow-minded, weight obsessed beings that are constantly thinking about marriage.
8. Because women’s sport is not taken seriously.
- 0.5% of funding goes to women’s sports.
- Men’s sport continues to get £179 million more in sponsorship.
- Women’s sport therefore receives little media attention.
9. Because gender ideals are outdated and are constraints that benefit no one.
10. Because 2 women are year are killed a week from domestic violence.
11. Because women continue to be blamed for being raped.
- Only 9% of sexual offenses are committed by a stranger, the vast majority are committed by people known to the victim.
- Women are often seen as responsible for the crime, or accused of lying about it. Despite the fact that only 4% of rapes are proven to be false, the same number as any other crime.
12. Because girls are still expected to play with irons, kitchens and baby dolls. While boys can play with footballs, police badges and cars.
13. Because my relationship, and how soon I am likely to go on maternity leave, is taken in to account when I apply for a job.
14. Because at the current rate of improvements in the business sector, it will take another 70 years to see a gender balance in there.
15. Because many women around the world don’t even have the rights that we do.
- 5 countries in the world do not allow the right to a safe abortion.
- Only 57 countries have sexual abuse laws.
- Only 60% of the countries have equal pay laws.
- In 10% of countries women are still bound to their husbands.
16. Because women are taught that they have a duty to look good for men.
17. Because I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she can be whoever she wants and that her gender won’t get in the way.