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A note to women all over the world

Today is a centenary celebration of International Women’s Day. The date as we celebrate IWD today was a day when female labourers of textile industry in New York, USA went striking. The women demanded shorter work days (8 hours a day max), better working conditions and the right to vote.

International Women's Day Centenary 2011

Official mark of IWD
In 1910, Second International held the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. An ‘International Women’s Day’ inspired by the New York strike was established. German Socialist Clara Zetkin suggested an official mark of International Women’s Day although no date was specified yet. The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. They demanded the right to vote to hold public office for women, as well as protested against employment sex discrimination.

Congolese women waiting to vote, elections 2006

Reminders of IWD background
For most women in the (west)world it is unthinkable that women had to fight for the achievements women have today. It seems almost ridiculous to think not being able to vote for example. Sadly some women in other parts of the world are still struggling with unfair treatments just because of their gender. So here come some examples.

  • Women are not to drive a car in Saudi Arabia
  • Women and girls in several Mid Eastern countries who have a relationship with someone their family don’t approve, would be murdered by one of a male family member in order to save the family honor. The worst part is, the murderer gets away with this cause he saves the family honor.
  • Young girls in north african country get circumcised (total removal of their genitalia).
  • Working women with the same experience and skills are paid less than their male colleagues, worldwide.

I could go on and on and on and sadly the list wouldn’t end here.

two young mothers learning to write, India 1979

Gender Gap Index
According to Word Economic Forum: The Global Gender Gap Report’s index assesses 134 countries on how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations, regardless of the overall levels of these resources. The report measures the size of the gender inequality gap in four areas:

  • Economic participation and opportunity – outcomes on salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment
  • Educational attainment – outcomes on access to basic and higher level education
  • Health and survival – outcomes on life expectancy and sex ratio
  • Political empowerment – outcomes on representation in decision-making structures

For those who are seriously interesting in the Gender Gap Index, feel free to dig The Global Gender Gap Report 2010

The Index of 2010
Iceland (1), Norway (2), Finland (3), Sweden (4) and New Zealand (5) continue to demonstrate the greatest equality between men and women steadily. Surprisingly The Netherlands ended at number 17. This is apparently lower than previous years. Look at the complete Global Gender Gap Index 2010 in comparison with that of 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 for extensive data.

It’s for equality
Fighting for their rights and adhering feminism doesn’t mean women want to be a man. It ‘s for the equality, empowerment and fair treatments. Unfortunately no matter how long it has been (100 years) eversince the IWD was marked, the gender gap still exist. The index above shows us. So, when confronted with unfair treatment just because you are a woman, stand up for your rights!

The World Economic Forum
International Women’s Day
Both pics are from United Nations


4 thoughts on “A note to women all over the world

  1. There still is a need for 365 days a year try fighting for women’s empowerment.
    It was a little shock to me to read women in the Netherlands are worse off than their sisters in 16 other civilized countries 😦 .

  2. Personally I find it rather interesting to see that women in Lesotho and The Philippines have the better condition than Dutch women.

    I guess the low ranking of Dutch women in this index has been caused by the lack of female ministers (only 2 out of 11 ministers?) in the current cabinet.

  3. I’ve read many articles about Dutch women being happy cause they are able to combine work and family. But then, in my opinion we only have part time working mothers who want to have it all, half way. This is ok as long as they have a partner who work fulltime. But what happens if the relationship ends or the partner gets sick? I gladly recommend you to read Verwende Prinsesjes from Elma Drayer. I totally agree with her.

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