Monday 8th March marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a time to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, raise awareness around women's inequality and call to action the acceleration of gender parity.
This annual celebration calls to amplify the female-led contributions to the world as well as highlight the inequalities that remain prevalent across social, economic, cultural, and political plains.
Gender inequality - Where are we now?
In 30 years, progress has been very slow at the global level, and dynamics have been different across countries, with some recording progress but others seeing reductions in women’s share of earnings. An analysis commissioned by UN Women and the UN Development Programme reported that by the end of 2021, 435 million women and girls were living on less than $1.90 a day - and 47 million will be pushed into poverty as a direct result of COVID-19.
Fast forward to where we are now, the global gender pay gap is stuck at 16%, and women in some countries are paid as much as 35% less than men, according to a report published by UN Women. Still, even these figures do not capture the full extent of pay inequality - particularly in developing countries where informal work or self-employment is rampant.
According to the World Inequality Report 2022, women’s share of total incomes from work (labour income) neared 30% in 1990 and stands at less than 35% today.
It has also been widely reported that:
· Relatively low participation in labour markets and legal discrimination have condemned many women to hardship. In 72 countries, women are still barred from opening bank accounts or obtaining credit.
· Prime working-aged women (between 24 and 44) with children were more likely than their male counterparts to lose their job, while younger women (18 to 24) with children were far more likely than their male counterparts to see reduced paid work hours.
· Research conducted over the last few years has shown that the earnings of older female workers are affected by the intersection of gender and age discrimination, so older female workers are at even greater risk of staying in low pay compared to the earnings of men in similar positions than their younger female counterparts.
This year’s theme – Break the Bias and how you can get involved
This year’s theme #BreakTheBias – Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. Imagine a gender equal world. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
Firstly, to tie in with this year’s theme, IWD organisers are asking people to strike the #BreakTheBias pose – cross your arms with and to share it on social media to encourage a commitment to actively call out gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping.
Here are our #BreakTheBias poses, showing our commitment.