International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day everyone (well for tomorrow)!

By now you should have already worked this out, but if you haven’t then allow me to enlighten you- I am a feminist.

Yup that’s right. A feminist.

The word “feminism” has a lot of negative connotation’s around it, and while I am not ashamed to use it, I am concerned that some people will judge me and misinterpret my opinion’s. Without going in to any detail (you can read this post here and watch my video here, if you want more) I believe in equality. I am not a man hater, nor do I believe that women should be “better than men”, I simply believe that women deserve to be equal to men.(The key word here is equal.) I believe that “gender restraints” or gender stereotypes are damaging to both sexes, and that the world would be a much better place if we just allowed everyone and anyone to be who they want to be. Maybe one day hey? (Day dream believer.)

Once upon a time even I was reluctant to call myself the f-word, afraid that it made me unattractive or too radical to be taken seriously. But having thought about it and conducted some research, I came to the conclusion that I was indeed a feminist and my very reasons for not wanting to use the word, where the very reasons that I needed to be one.

Now I am not trying to “radicalise” you in this post, although it would be awesome if you decided you were a feminist too, I simply want to share same interesting but concerning facts with you about women’s rights around the world!

  • Women only earn roughly 10% of the world’s income and only own 1% of the world’s property, despite the fact that 66% of the world’s work is done by women and woman account for the production of 50% of the world’s food. (United Nations.)
  • “When women and men have equal opportunities and rights, economic growth accelerates and poverty rates drop more rapidly for everyone. Reducing inequality between women and men is critical to cutting in half the number of people living in poverty by 2015.” (United Nations.)
  • Out of 130 countries, only 76 have legislation that is specifically addresses domestic violence and only 57 have legislation against sexual abuse. Despite it being 2014, 10% of countries still deem women to be bound to their husbands legally.
  • 2014 has, for the first time since 2008, seen a widening of the pay gap between men and women. On average women now earn £5000 less.
  • Women only receive 0.5% of sport investment.
  • In the bustling boardrooms of the FTSE 100, only 20.4% are woman and most of these are in non-executive roles, despite more woman going to university than men.
  • The global average regarding political representation is just 21.3% and the UK parliament stands at just above this number. The devolved nations of Scotland and Northern Ireland have a slightly better record, with 34.8% and 23% respectively. The Welsh Assembly has a much significantly better record with 44% of it’s elected members being female.

Now whether or not you agree with the word “feminism”, it’s fairly hard to argue against these statistics and while progress has undoubtedly been made, there is a long way to go!

What can you do to help?

  • Get involved with a local charity, perhaps raise money or volunteer your time!
  • Tweet some of the above stats!
  • Get involved in your local political party!
  • Campaign!
  • If you are in Cardiff, then watch out for me on the Unite stall!

Let me know what bother’s you most?

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