Today is International Woman’s Day. The origin for this Day dates back to the early 1900’s and arose in connection with protests for worker protections and the fight for woman’s suffrage. The United Nations recognized March 8 as International Woman’s Day in 1975. Check out this page for a nice chronology of the history of the day. The United Nations’ theme for this year is achieving gender parity.
Although gender equality has improved drastically since the 1900’s and even 1975, there is still a long way to go. A significant pay gap between wages paid to women and wages paid to their male counterparts continues (in 2014 full time female workers earned 82.5% of a man’s salary). Women are still underrepresented in the executive offices and on corporate boards. And, violence against women is a global issue with the World Health Organization noting that 35% of woman have experienced sexual violence.
Even with these grim statistics, there is still hope and lots of efforts to improve the status quo. According to EY, research has shown that creating gender balanced workforces produces better outcomes and creates prosperity. As woman make up half the world, it’s no surprise that better opportunity and treatment of woman improves GDP and productivity.
Woman are making progress. Here’s a short clip of Hillary Clinton at the UN in 2010 noting improvements since her 1995 speech to the Fourth Woman’s Conference in Beijing.
You can do your part and join in the celebration of International Woman’s Day by making your Pledge for Parity. Be sure to click on the down arrow with each pledge to learn a little bit more about gender equality. Happy IWG.