February 25, 2014
On March 8, the whole world will be celebrating International Women’s Day.
For more than 100 years, International Women’s Day has celebrated the social, political, and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.
This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is Inspiring Changeby calling for:
- Greater awareness of women’s equality
- More women in senior leadership roles
- Equal recognition of women in the arts
- Growth of women-owned businesses
- Increased financial independence of women
- More women in science, technology, engineering and math
- Fairer recognition of women in sport
As much as things have changed for women, much still needs to be changed. Despite many international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They usually have less access than men to medical care, property ownership, credit, training and employment. They are far less likely than men to be politically active and far more likely to be victims of domestic violence. Worldwide today:
- Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16.
- Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
- Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
- Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18
- Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States.
- Human rights groups estimate that anywhere between 12.3 million and 27 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time.
- More women than men live in poverty.
- About two thirds of the illiterate adults in the world are female. Higher levels of women’s education are strongly associated with both lower infant mortality and lower fertility, as well as with higher levels of education and economic opportunity for their children.
- Internationally, social and legal institutions still do not guarantee women equality in basic legal and human rights, in access to or control of land or other resources, in employment and earnings, and social and political participation.
Gender equality implies a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunities, outcomes, rights and obligations in all spheres of life. Equality between men and women exists when both sexes are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunities for financial independence through work or through setting up businesses; enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions.
- Educated women are more likely to use health clinics and return to the clinic if their children’s health does not improve.
- Educated women tend to begin their families at a later age and have fewer, healthier children.
- A 1% rise in women’s literacy is 3 times more likely to reduce deaths in children than a 1% rise in the number of doctors. (Based upon a United Nations study of 46 countries.)
- For women, 4 to 6 years of education led to a 20% drop in infant deaths (Based on the same UN study mentioned above.)
- Women with more education generally have better personal health and nutrition.
- The families of women with some education tend to have better housing, clothing, income, water, and sanitation.
Cable is proud of the women and men who join the organization to promote opportunity for women. There is more to do. What can you do to make a difference in just one life?