World of op­por­tu­nity

In cel­e­bra­tion of In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day this month, we meet the next gen­er­a­tion who are lead­ing the way when it comes to the on­go­ing fight for equal­ity


In 1911, an In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day was ob­served for the first time in Aus­tria, Den­mark, Ger­many and Switzer­land, where more than one mil­lion men and women came to­gether to de­mand the right for women to vote, to hold pub­lic of­fice and to have equal ac­cess to em­ploy­ment. By 1975, In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day was of­fi­cially cel­e­brated world­wide by the UN, and this month it will take place on Fri­day March 8, with var­i­ous events, talks and con­fer­ences go­ing on around the coun­try.

Although there’s no doubt that huge steps for­ward have been made since the day was first cel­e­brated, with women now hav­ing ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment and the vote, there’s also no doubt that there is still a long way to go. As of 2016 just 23 per cent of all par­lia­men­tar­i­ans world­wide were women, and some na­tional stud­ies show that as many as 70 per cent of women have ex­pe­ri­enced some kind of vi­o­lence dur­ing their life­time. Even here in the UK, ac­cord­ing to the Crime Sur­vey for Eng­land and Wales, 26 per cent of women have ex­pe­ri­enced do­mes­tic abuse, which is equiv­a­lent to a stag­ger­ing 4.3 mil­lion peo­ple. Un­equal ac­cess to em­ploy­ment per­sists to be an is­sue too, and in April 2018 the me­dian gen­der pay gap of 17.9 per cent made head­lines.

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