I am hoping that you know today is International Women's Day, The United Nations first began celebrating the day on 8th March 1975, this years campaign theme for 2016 is #PledgeForParity, being the Dad to 2 girls this is something I hope for in their lifetime, although as it stands that is still a challenge.
The current goals for International Women's Day fit in with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, more of which can be read here.
Information released by the World Economic Forum last year estimated that the gender equality gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133, so not within the girls life time at all!
Unfortunately throughout my lifetime I have seen how difficult it can be for women around me to be treated equally to male counterparts, be it conversations with my sister who worked in a very male dominated industry, or colleagues over my working career not being treated equally. It is not just about pay and equality at work.
This new agenda has a stand alone goal, focusing on the empowerment of women and girls as a core means of tackling economic underperformance, global overpopulation and poverty worldwide (no light topics there!)
Whilst researching for this post I was interested to find out that some countries make today a national holiday.
Reading one article on the independents website I was horrified to read that this day is still needed to highlight the disproportionate amount of abuse women suffer at the hands of others
- 120 million girls and women under the age of 20 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts - around 10 percent
- More than a third of women worldwide have also experienced physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives (most common between teen and menopause)
- Nearly a quarter of a billion more women are in the global workforce today than a decade ago but are only earning what men did in 2006 (according to the World Economic Forum)
With these horrifying statistics, I am making a pledge to educate my daughters (and whoever else I can) of these facts and ensure they do not become a victim, but also to ensure that during their life they understand they are equal and have a right to be treated so!
One final stat that has really shocked me and this certainly needs to change, and fast is that one in 10 married women are not consulted by their husbands on how their own cash earnings will be spent! To me that is not a marriage.......
I hope Mel will agree that I have never treated her like that and would be horrified to hear if anyone I know is treating their wife life that or is being treated like this by their husband / partner!
You maybe reading this thinking, this has little to do with me, I only have boys etc but you would be wrong, this is about educating everybody to the benefits of equality and I would urge you to have a read of the following sites to see how you can get involved:
Finally I put out this little tweet this morning:
Happy to talk to anyone further about this over a cuppa, but also please consider downloaing your own pledge selfie card and sharing it on social media!