Although many often misinterpret its meaning, March 8 actually emerged as a day of struggle for the rights of working women. The event was meant to be celebrated on March 19, 1910, but it changed its date to March 8 after the fire of the textile factory Triangle Shirtwaist, in which 146 workers died.
Why is this important? Because on March 8, it arose, precisely, as a day of reflection and struggle for women's rights. Because, as the UN motto says for Women's Day 2018, "now is the time" and because we already expect too much, these are the gifts we would like to receive.
1. The end of the wage gap
Yes, in 2018 women still earn less than men, even those with a high educational level. The overall difference in salaries between men and women is 23 percent. This means that, on average, women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn.
Likewise, there are countries in which the gap is even wider, as in the case of Sweden and France (31%), Germany (49%) and Turkey (75%). And the thing does not end there: according to UN Women, at the current rate, it will take us 70 years to achieve equitable salaries.
2. The end of gender violence
According to a UN report, 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 have suffered physical or sexual violence from their partner in the last year around the world. However, there are serious shortcomings when it comes to legislation on the subject: to date, 49 countries do not have laws on domestic violence, another 45 do not present legislation that specifically penalizes sexual harassment and in 37 others they are legally exempt from sexual harassment. rapists if they are spouses of the victim or marry her after the abuse.
3. Women's hygiene products accessible to all and free of taxes
Having access to feminine hygiene products is, in addition to a basic human right, a public health issue. However, many women still do not access these products. In India, for example, only 12 percent of women who menstruate (335 million) use women's wipes.
This can lead to several problems, from physical conditions, such as cervical cancer, to various social problems. For example, in several African countries, it is very common for girls not to attend school when they are menstruating for fear of getting stained. This delays their educational process and makes them more vulnerable to living in poverty, among the multiple consequences that come with the simple fact of not having access to feminine hygiene products.
4. The end of street harassment
No, they are not compliments. It is harassment. According to the UN, a survey showed that, in Mexico City alone, 90 percent of women feel insecure when traveling by bus or subway.
“Women’s perceptions of their safety in Mexico City, as in many cities in the world, has an impact on decisions to go out at night or to take part in leisure activities; also women have to change the way they dress, they need to go out accompanied by other people, and that’s simply not acceptable," said Yeliz Osman, who works with UN. "Women should be free to move around, to go to work, to go to school, free from constant harassment and violence."
5. That female genital mutilation becomes a thing of the past
It is estimated that at least 200 million women and girls in the world, who are alive today, have suffered female genital mutilation. This practice, which threatens human rights and the physical and mental health of women and girls, is carried out mainly for cultural and social reasons.
6. An equitable division of household chores
In Mexico, for example, it is estimated that women contribute approximately 60 percent of the labor force (both paid and unpaid). On the other hand, men contribute less than 40 percent. But, if we go to the numbers of unpaid domestic work, we see that the difference is abysmal: while women devote an average of 59 hours per week to the care of the house and other people, men contribute 22 hours on average to this type of tasks.
This situation is replicated in most of the world. As a consequence, it reinforces gender stereotypes and makes women dependent on other members of the household to obtain an economic sustenance.
Most of us like chocolate, yes, but much more we would like to live in an egalitarian world that does not discriminate against people because of their gender, their race or who they decide to love. If you agree, share this information and join the change. Now is the time.
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