This past Sunday, the world celebrated International Women’s Day to honor anyone who identifies as a woman. While I make an effort to celebrate women each and every single day, I’m not against an international holiday! I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like throughout the last few years, this holiday has only become more important. A woman’s voice is more powerful than ever, and I’m so grateful to have this platform where I can use my own voice with so many of you.
But, why do we celebrate International Women’s Day? Well, I wish the answer were a lot more simple.
As women we’ve overcome so many obstacles, broken plenty of glass ceilings, and have become louder when so many others expected us to remain silent. With that being said, there’s still a long, long way to go.
We are still facing gender disparities in nearly every environment we put ourselves in. The most obvious would be the workplace, where women are still not seeing a gender balance.
- One of the biggest concerns between men and women at work is unequal pay. Research has shown that women earn 49 cents to every dollar that men earn, yet, on average, more women in the US are college educated than men. Some reports even show that the gender pay gap could be greater than 80 percent. In an attempt to close this gap, some companies have adapted to more family-friendly policies, such as longer maternity leave periods and childcare assistance.
- Another huge problem for women at work is that there’s less room for growth. Were you ever sure that you were lined up to get a promotion or a raise, only for your male co-worker to get it instead? It’s happen to far too many women! There still are few female CEO’s at large companies, and that number is even lower for women of color. Without these women at the top, we’re unable to prove what we’re capable of and why we also deserve these positions. There absolutely must be more female leadership at work for it to seem attainable to the rest of female staffers.
- Sadly, racial discrimination also still affects a large number of women at work. Salaries and wages can largely depend on race and ethnicity, even with all of these equal opportunity policies put into place. Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American women are below the pay grade of white and Asian women.
- Even with the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, sexual harassment is still a big concern for women at work. A survey conducted in 2018, right at the start of these movements, revealed that nearly 38% of women have faced some sort of sexual harassment at work.
- Lastly, one of the most common things that women experience at work is the lack of room to speak up or ask for what they deserve. Women are still made to feel small and have a very hard time asking for a pay raise or promotion. If it doesn’t sound too greedy or desperate when do it, why should we feel that way?
In general, living in a world with a gender balance will prevent violence against women and girls.
- Women and girls are still placed into certain roles because of gender inequality. This often leads to men thinking they’re in control and condoning violence towards women who stand up for themselves and seek independence.
- If society continues to view men as the aggressors and the ones in charge, it inevitably affects your personal relationships. There shouldn’t be place for aggression and disrespect, anywhere, in any relationship.
Support women everyday and be a voice for those who are unable to use theirs. Our world will only get better with gender equality across the board.