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Oh, we don’t need International Women’s Day, you say?

Oh, we don’t need International Women’s Day, you say?

Who run the world? Sorry, it’s not girls.

BY Rebecca Bodman, 5 min READ
 

Arm yourself with these facts, so when someone says –and they undoubtedly will –that we don’t need IWD, you can tell them why we still do.

Happy International Women’s Day… cue Facebook rants and under the breath comments protesting or questioning, ‘Why do we even need this ‘stupid’ day in 2019?!’ Well, well, well… say this in my company and I’ll jump right up there on my soapbox that I seem to be conveniently carrying in my hand bag (along with my bra I plan to burn later). Yep, it’s 2019, but here are the facts when it comes to women. Who run the world? I’m sorry, but it’s not girls.

We don’t need International Women’s Day because women are more educated than men …

Sure, women represent 57.5% of enrolled domestic students across all universities or other institutions in Australia, but what about the 130 million girls around the world who are still denied access to education?

We don’t need International Women’s Day because women are protected under legislation…

Except more than one in three Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence in her lifetime and one in two experiences sexual harassment. Or just bite back with the fact that women are dying at a greater rate than one a week at the hands of their partner or former partner. If that’s not a national emergency, I’m not sure what should be?

We don’t need International Women’s Day because women in Australia make up almost half the workforce …

Yep, they’re out there working, but have to work an extra 56 days a year to earn the same pay as men for doing the same work. The national gender pay gap is 15.3 per cent and it has remained stuck between 15 per cent and 19 per cent for the past two decades.

We don’t need International Women’s Day because we’ve had a female Prime Minister …

Yep, that was great that one time (except for the public ridicule and abuse JuliaGillard was subjected to), but how about this … there are more ‘Andrews’ leading ASX 200 organisations as CEOs than there are women in this country. There are just 14 female chief executives running the top 200 listed companies and only 24 female chief financial officers and there are still 23 companies in the ASX200 with no women in their executive leadership team.

We don’t need International Women’s Day because women in countries like Australia are equal …

On paper (or not?) they might be, but on average, women spend 64per cent of their working week performing unpaid care work. They spend almost twice as many hours performing such work each week compared to men. Women also on average retire with 47% less savings than men–does that sound equal to you?

We don’t need International Women’s Day because every day we should be talking about these issues …

I’m glad we agree on something. But until we are –well until men and women across boardrooms, offices, parliaments, households and coffee shops around the country and the world are -let’s use this day to shine a light on where we’re at. It might be symbolic, but conversation and recognition lead to reform and it has to start somewhere. And my favourite:

We don’t need International Women’s Day because there’s not an International Men’s Day …

There is. It’s 19 November. I’ll celebrate with you then.

This article was originally published in our Premium member-only magazine, Latte. Feel like reading more great content like this? Have a think about becoming a Premium member, here.

Read next: How to close the gap for women of colour in 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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