Friday was International Women’s Day. To be honest, while I love that the world is taking on the inequality and atrocities committed against women and girls around the world, I hate that we have A DAY dedicated to it. A single day. Roughly 50% of the world is made up of women. The future of humanity literally depends on women being healthy, willing and able to grow new lives, yet the world can only spend a day focused on us? Don’t get me wrong, we’ll take it, but can’t we do more?
Violence Against Women
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 women will experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Women who earn 65% or more of their household income are more likely to be psychologically abused than those earning less than 65% of household income. NBC News reports that in 2018, 22 transgendered women were killed due to transgender violence; 82% of these were women of color.
Worldwide, these numbers get more horrific. The UN estimates that 137 women are killed by partners or family members every day. 200 million girls and women still alive today have undergone genital mutilation.
Women deserve so much more. We deserve to go through life unafraid of their partners, of strangers, of dark streets, of the workplace. We deserve to be unafraid of asking for help, and to be able to find safe places to go after seeking help.
Women in Leadership
Worldwide, less than 10% of CEOs are women. Only 5% of the Fortune 500 are headed up by women. Women, on average, still make 80 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts. Are women doing different jobs? No. Are they performing differently? No. But, for every child a woman has, a woman can expect her earnings, on average, to decrease by 4%. So, in order to keep humanity around for another generation, women are penalized.
Women who do rise in organizations often do so because they’ve learned to “out-male males”, according to research by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. According to his research, competent women, and men, are often overlooked for leadership roles because our culture values traits associated with typical masculinity more than those that make great leaders.
So what do we do?
We continue to show up. We take up space. We fight harder. Talk louder. We do our jobs. We raise our children. We speak up when we see women being hurt physically or emotionally. We keep showing up.
Men, being a feminist is not just for women. Be supportive. Be a parent to your children. Speak up. Ask questions. Seek to understand. Foster change. Welcome growth. And you too, need to keep showing up for us.