Equality for women is progress for all: International Women’s Day 2016

From women’s suffrage to equal parenting and representation in politics, International Women’s Day (IWD) has celebrated the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women for more than 100 years. Today is about celebration, reflection, advocacy and action, both locally and at a global level.

What is the theme for this year?

The theme for 2016 is Pledge for Parity, as progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. In 2014, the World Economic Forum (WEF) predicted it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. A year later, WEF estimated a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap would not close entirely until 2133.

This year, the organisers of IWD are asking supporters to #PledgeForParity to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly; whether to help girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, end workplace bias or develop a more inclusive culture.

To help you put things into perspective, here are five facts, figures and statistics about women’s rights:

1. Around the world, women are paid less than men, in most countries earning on average 60%-75% of men’s wages (World Bank Gender Data Portal, 2015).

2. Over a third of women have experienced physical/sexual violence by a partner and/or sexual violence by a non-partner in their lifetime.

3. Of 585 peace agreements from 1990 to 2010, only 92 contained any reference to women (International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 2010).

4. Women bear disproportionate caring responsibility for children, the elderly and the sick, spending as much as ten times more time a day on unpaid care work than men, according to the World Bank.

5. Girls who complete primary and secondary education are likely to earn income, have fewer unwanted pregnancies and break the cycle of poverty.

As we seek to more equally recognise and value women and men’s contributions, we chose the video above which puts a spotlight on women inventors, very few of whom we know about. What will you pledge?

Equality for women is progress for all. #PledgeForParity