From Sunday’s Observer Magazine in homage to International Women’s Day on the 8th of March:
Two-thirds of children denied school are girls, 64% of the world’s illiterate adults are women, 41m girls are still denied a primary education, 75% of civilians killed in war are women and children, causing Major-General Patrick Cammaert, the former UN peacekeeping commander in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to declare in 2008: ‘It is now more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in modern conflict.‘
That over 700,000 people will experience domestic violence in the UK, and 90% of them are white British females, that there are sex slaves imported daily to this country who live lives of abject terror, that equal pay is still not a reality nearly four decades after the act enshrining it was passed, that the conviction rate in rape cases still hovers around 6.5%, that only 12% of the UK’s boardroom seats (as compared to Norway’s 32%) are occupied by women, are just a small smattering of reasons why women’s rights should remain a priority even here in the UK.
These statistics seem shocking, exhausting, hopeless. Which is why I object to the entire concept of International Women’s Day:
Because we ALL fail every time we think of discrimination and the abuse and oppression of girls and women as ‘gender issues’ instead of treating them as human rights abuses.
Five powerful and empowering links for anyone interested in equality: