Think we don't need feminism? Here’s a closer look at the ways women are far from equal to men.
It’s been 95 years since the “women’s right to vote” was ratified (though it would be years before it would include all women: All Native American women couldn’t vote until 1924; Asian women, 1954; Black women, 1964). The fact that nearly 10 decades later, Women’s Equality Day is little more than an anniversary announced on social media and Google, should indicate that we haven’t come very far—especially considering headlines of late. Here are five ways women’s inequality is still woefully apparent, and some things we can do about it.
Women make up nearly half of the workforce (47%), but that’s pretty much where our equality ends. Of course the pay gap is still an issue: women working full-time and part-time in the U.S. make 84% of what their male counterparts; that number drops to 77% worldwide; and for women of color, those numbers are even worse. And in the skyrocketing tech sector, women make up only 30% of the workforce at companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter (see Ellen Pao’s case for the effects of that, not to mention what it’s doing to our dating lives!). But one look at our country’s lack of paid maternity leave reveals the real misogyny.
The war on women is no joke—access to health care and our reproductive rights are shrinking every day. From the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the jailing of women who terminate pregnancies to the aspiration to dismantle our right to birth control to the GOP’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood…the laundry list of offenses continues to grow.
Remember when the U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup in July, with 20 million people watching the most highly viewed U.S. soccer game ever? Remember when they made four times less money for doing so than the men’s soccer team that was eliminated in the first round? We do.
4) Domestic Violence
According to the U.N., up to 70% of women around the world experience violence in their lifetime. And often that violence happens at home: 1 in 5 women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner (compared to 1 in 7 men), according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Which is why we should all try to understand the mindset of a victim, it’s likely you know one.
5) Sexual Assault
The statistics on sexual assault are just as dismal: 1 in 5 women in the U.S. has been raped in her lifetime (compared to 1 in 71 men), according to the NCADV. What can we do? Talk about it. We can share our stories about date rape, campus rape, and the rise of rape culture. Which we’ll be doing right here until the “Don’t Get Raped” message becomes “Don’t Rape” instead.
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