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Women’s Rights Today: One Hundred Years Away

You’ve heard me say before that it’s going to take us 100 years to achieve equality. ONE HUNDRED YEARS. I’m not making that up, that’s a fact.

But what does that mean — concretely? And why should we care?!

Well, for starters we know that gender equality is not only a human rights principle, but it is actually a prerequisite for peace and sustainable development. In short, it’s necessary and urgent for us to have a chance at a half-decent world — a world we’d actually enjoy living in.

Conversations about gender equality and women’s empowerment have been swimming around the global agenda for decades. And we’ve got all the right stuff on paper. However, despite global mandates — and great looking pieces of paper — many countries continue to struggle with inequality. Wait, I mean ALL countries. Because not a single country in the world has actually achieved equality. Yes.

Women and girls are still not able to fully participate in all aspects of social, economic, and political life. But what does that look like?

Head to Medium for the full piece – but here are some highlights!

In education, the gender gap can be closed in about 12 years — so that’s some good news.

In positions of power and decision-making, inequality is most visible because women are rendered virtually invisible.

In the economy, women are more likely than men to live in extreme poverty. Women’s unemployment is higher than men’s .

Research shows that women are 79% less likely to be hired if they have children. Women with children are treated worse in the workplace as they are viewed as unreliable and unprofessional. Meanwhile, men with children are treated better, because they are seen to be the “providers”. Family responsibilities give men respectability, but it makes women unemployable.

More than 2.5 billion women live in countries with discriminatory laws.

Women’s bodies and lives are also on the line — that is where inequalities are most stark, and dangerous.

One in three women and girls worldwide will experience some form of violence in their lifetime. I often tell people to picture three women they know (or include themselves as one of the three). And then pick one of those. And that probably underestimates the reality. The reality is that every single woman I know has experienced something — or at least knows the fear of this. Even the fear of violence is a form of violence.

Sexual and reproductive rights are being stripped away globally, in every single country. Yes, including right here in the US. Child marriage is far too common, happening far too often — just about everywhere. Every year 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. The COVID pandemic has made this dramatically worse — 10 million additional girls are at risk.

Women and girls have every right to be safe at home, in the streets, in the market, in the office, in public office. This is urgent, necessary, and not negotiable.

So, yes, we’re living in a world of rampant gender inequality. I am not willing to wait 100 years. Are you?!

Here’s the full piece:

#GenderbasedViolence #Activism #GenderEquality #Women #Feminism #WomensRights #VAW #ViolenceAgainstWomen #GBV

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