Today, March 8 is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme commemorates the fight to end violence against women.
It was first celebrated on March 19, 1911 at a time when women were pressing for their right to work, vote, be trained, hold public office and end discrimination.
More than 100 years later, many of what our foremothers fought for has come to pass.
But not all. And sometimes, not by a long shot.
According to the United Nations:
1. Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food… but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.
2. Women make up nearly 2/3 of the world’s 759 million illiterate adults.
3. A child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to survive.
4. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 per cent less pay than men earn for the same work.
5. 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
7. The education of women is “the single most important determinant” of food security. Educated women increase their spending on household nutrition and the improved health of children.
8. Half of the world’s population are women.