Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why we still need to fight for equality for women and girls

Thanks to Councillor Mary Rasmussen for sending me the following information which formed part of her speech on International Women's Day

In a world where women do two-thirds of the world’s work, yet receive just 10% of the world’s income; and own 1% of the property. where one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex or abused and where just 19% of the world’s parliamentary seats are held by women there must be a renewed push for global equality.

Empowering women and girls is one of the most effective ways of accelerating poverty reduction. Yet more than thirty years after the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), discrimination against women and girls remains entrenched and pervasive.

Research shows that women in the UK and worldwide still face high levels of abuse, - and violence and gender inequality continues to permeate all sectors of society.

Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disabilities among women worldwide, aged 15-44, than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war, and three million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, trafficking, forced marriage or other violence each year.

Evidence shows that when women earn and manage their own money they are more likely than men to spend it on educating and feeding their children. Yet women currently earn just 10 per cent of the world’s income (even though they work two thirds of the world’s working hours).

Research shows that peace agreements and post-conflict reconstruction do better when women are involved, and that there is less corruption when women are more active in politics. However, just 19.1% of the world’s parliamentary seats are held by women.

Men currently outnumber women in Parliament 4 to 1. At the current rate of progress a girl born today will be drawing her pension before she has an equal voice in the government of her country.

Every year 70 million girls are deprived of a basic education and a shocking 60 million are sexually assaulted on the way to school.

It will take a man 15 years to pay back a student loan it will take a woman 19.5 to pay back the same amount.

30,000 women in the U.K lose their jobs each year because of pregnancy

1 in 7 female students have been the victim of a serious physical or sexual assault whilst at University

The pay gap between men and women is 10.2% for the same job

The rape conviction rate is 6%

There are almost four times as many women in part-time work as men.

Part-time workers are likely to receive lower hourly rates of pay than full-time workers.

Male directors of large companies and organisations are paid over 21% more than women directors

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