The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2015 is “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” which envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination. The International Woman’s Day theme for 2015 is celebrated under the #MakeItHappen hashtag for social media.
We never post on Sundays as we believe taking a rest from the busy crazy buzz we live in every day is healthy. However, we made an exception today to reflect on International Women’s Day, a special occasion that celebrates women’s rights all over the world.
Although we live in a world where males outnumber females by a hair, we are still considered a “minority” with less rights and opportunities, which we need to fight for. In fact, International Women’s Day was first organized in New York by the Socialist Party of America on February 28, 1909, in remembrance of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union strike that took place the year before. The fiery ILGW was a union formed by many Jewish, Polish and Italian immigrant female workers.
It seems inexplicable that over a century later, women are still striving to have their rights acknowledged. Is it our fault or men’s fault? Is the system structured to prevent women from advancing in their careers and lives? Are our family obligations an important obstacle for this advancement? Could women advance more if men would take a fair amount of responsibility in family affairs?
These and many other questions still need to be answered and I believe, we women need to find those answers ourselves in order to claim and obtain our rights.
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- At birth the ratio between males and females is higher, with 107 boys for every 100 girls. Boys have a higher risk of death in childhood and adulthood, so the ratio levels out.
- The United Arab Emirates has the largest gender ratio of 228 males to 100 females.
- The country with the largest female ratio is Estonia, with 85 males for every 100 females.
- In the United States, Miami and New York City are two cities known for having more women than men.
- In 2010, there were 23.0 million older women and 17.5 million older men, or a sex ratio of 132 women for every 100 men in the United States. The female to male sex ratio increases with age, ranging from 112 for the 65-69 age group to a high of 206 for persons 85 and over.
- In 2012, the median earnings of American women working full time year-round were $37,791. American men earned a median income of $49,398. The gender wage gap has stayed at about 77 cents on the dollar since 2007.
- The 2012 6-year college graduation rate was 56 percent for males and 61 percent for females; it was higher for females than for males at both public (60 vs. 54 percent) and private nonprofit institutions (68 vs. 63 percent). However, at private for-profit institutions males had a higher graduation rate than females (35 vs. 28 percent).
- Worldwide it is estimated that men smoke nearly five times as much as women but the ratios vary dramatically across countries. In high-income countries, including the United States and most countries of Western Europe, women smoke at nearly the same rate as men. In China, 61 percent of men are smokers, compared with only 4.2 percent of women.
- Higher income women are less likely to be obese than low-income women, but most obese women are not low-income.
- Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family.
What do you think of these stats? Are we taking care of ourselves as we should? What can be improved? Are we making progress?
My vision is a world in which we need not celebrate women’s day or any minority day; a world so equally blessed by opportunity where no group would need to remind the rest that being “less than” is not an option. What is yours?
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