International Women’s Day

On Tuesday 8th March, women worldwide celebrated International Women’s Day.

In 2016, the United Nations have launched a project against gender inequality, titled “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it Up for Gender Equality”. They have set goals such as ensuring all girls and boys have equal education, ending all forms of discrimination against all women, eliminating violence against all, and eliminating all harmful practices against females such as forced and early marriage. Although we have come far since 1908, where women first marched through the streets demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights, we still have far to go. One in three women under the age of 50 have experienced physical or sexual violence from a man and one in three girls have experienced unwanted sexual touching in school. Women are still being discriminated at work, too. Women working full time earn 10% less than men working full time. On the other hand, women working part time earn 13.5% less than men working part time. Approximately 70% of people working at minimum wage are female.

Also, there is considerably less representation for Women. Only 1 in 4 MPs are women and fewer than 35% of civil servants are female. In media, only 23% of reporters on national daily newspapers are women. At the current rate, it will take more than 150 years before seeing an equal number of women and men elected to local councils in England.

We talked to some students and teachers around school to see their stance on inequality and the importance of International Women’s Day. Em, 14, says that International Women’ Day is important because it ‘can show women and young girls that they are important and can have a say in life’. Bee, 14, believes it is important because ‘there should be a day where women can do and say what they want without being called bossy or being assaulted’. Similarly, Matt, 13, thinks it’s good because it shows respect for women. We also talked to Miss Wranosky, a Drama and English teacher at Balcarras. “International Women’s day is important because there aren’t enough opportunities to praise strong women in a variety of roles.”

Throughout the day there was support and celebration on various social media networks; celebrities and other icons tweeting and speaking out on YouTube about issues that still need addressing before we can reach equality. People including Emma Watson, Bernie Sanders, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michelle Obama and Ariana Grande have sent out positive, encouraging tweets to followers. Using platforms like these has encouraged young people to become educated regarding inequality, benefiting the next generation massively.