It’s time to celebrate everything women for International Women’s Day!
It can be easy to think that everything is fine in UK when it comes to gender equality. A new study shows that 27% think there is no difference between being man and woman in today’s society – and does anyone remember when Jonny from Love Island said that men and women were equal because the prime minister’s a woman?
While it’s definitely true that a lot has been done in this country to make sure women and men are equal, when you look deeper there is still a way to go.This is why International Women’s Day is important – it reminds us that there is still a lot to be done. Here’s a few reasons why we still have to make some noise:
People with female reproductive organs bleed every month due to the shedding of the uterine lining. This is biology. However, the tampons and pads women need to make this manageable are still seen and taxed like a ‘non-essential item’, and with women going through approximately 500 periods in their lifetime, this is a lot of money to be spending on something so necessary. At the extreme, this results in girls missing school and suffering from anxiety because they can’t afford to keep buying them.
2.Sexual assault and harassment:
It’s been the age of #MeToo, with women and men feeling more and more empowered call out their assaulter. However, an estimated five out of six victims do not report their experience to police and we are still dealing with a wide-spread problem of victim-blaming and not trusted testimonies. Street harassment also continues to be a huge problem for girls and women, if you ask any girl about a time they have been cat-called or made to feel uncomfortable in public by men, you’ll see that nearly every girl has their own version– often, and horrifically, occurring when they’re in school uniform.
3.The pay gap:
Different from equal pay, the gender pay gap is the percentage difference between what men and women earn per hour. It was recently found that the UK has a national median pay gap of 18%, one of the worst gaps in Europe. Put another way, a new study suggests that the average woman effectively works ‘for free’ for the first two months of the year because of this difference.
4.Women in the Creative Industry:
Here at Spotlight we support young female artists to develop and follow their musical talents. However, while chances are that a female artists comes to mind if you’re asked to think of a famous music artist, women are outnumbered 2 to 1 in the industry, with only 6% of producers being female for example. Last year 77% of all acts booked for UK’s nine top festivals consisted of only men. The industry glass ceiling is shaking but definitely still intact.
5.BAME and LGBTQ+ women:
Finally, we cant celebrate real progress until all women are equal with each-other. From representation in the media; discrimination when looking for jobs and beauty stereotypes there are still leaps and bounds needed to be made until we can celebrate International Women’s Day with all women on equal footing.
While this all may look a bit negative, it is still true that we have come so far since the first International Women’s Day was created. “Who Run the World?” may not be “girls” at the moment, but women and girls are out there making waves and changing the world bit by bit! So let’s celebrate all women this International Women’s Day!