S & S In Brief: International Women’s Day

To celebrate March 8th as International Women’s Day, here are some facts on the contemporary situation.

We need to work to Sustainable Development Goal #5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Collaboration of international institutions, national governments, businesses and all stakeholders is required to reduce the gap that still largely remains. Big love to all the women AND men who are fighting to achieve this goal everyday.

According to the United Nations:

  • To date no country in the world has achieved gender equality
  • On average less than 1 in 3 senior and middle management positions are held by women
  • In 2014, 143 countries guaranteed equality between men and women but 52 yet to take this step
  • Investing in education for girls can return $5 for every dollar spent
  • Improving income generating activities for women can return $7 dollars for every dollar spent

In the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report that benchmarks 153 countries, the investigation revealed:

  • It will take 95 years to close the gender gap in political representation, with women in 2019 holding 25.2% of parliamentary (lower-house) seats and 21.2% of ministerial positions
  • Gender parity in economic participation has REGRESSED, it stands at 57.8% – closing this gap would take 257 years. (compared to 202 years in the 2019 report).
  • Women are underrepresented in emerging roles. As a proportion of the total workforce this stands at 12% in cloud computing, 15% in engineering, 26% in data and AI
  • Globally, gender parity stands at 68.6% and the bottom 10 countries have closed just 40% of the gender gap
  • Globally, only 55% of women (aged 15-64) are engaged in the labour market as opposed to 78% of men.
  • There are 72 countries where women are barred from opening bank accounts or obtaining credit.
  • There is no country where men spend the same amount of time on unpaid work as women. 

A note on the fashion industry:

  • There are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today, 85% of them are women. These are some of the lowest paid workers in the world.
  • The average minimum wage in India is ¼ of what it needs to be for them to live
  • Earning a living wage and working in safe conditions is a fundamental human right.

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