Flash forward to 2017
The United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975 and in 1996 began the adoption of an annual theme. This year, the theme focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. Its aim is to consider how we can accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We are becoming more globalised, more technological and more digital. And yet, women continue to be concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill work with greater job insecurity, and are under-represented in leadership roles and fields, such as science and technology.
- Women make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value. The wage gap is even larger for women with children.
- Only 4 per cent of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies are held by women.
- Worldwide, more than two-thirds of people above retirement age without any regular pension are women.
- Husbands can legally prevent their wives from working in 18 countries.
- Nearly 60 per cent of domestic workers worldwide have no limitations on their working hours
- Laws against gender discrimination in hiring practices are only in place in 67 countries.
Achieving gender equality in the world of work is absolutely essential for sustainable development. If women played an identical role in labour markets to that of men, as much as US$28 trillion, or 26
per cent, could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025.
Think globally. Act locally.
You don’t have to protest in the streets to make a difference. You could volunteer at the New2U Thrift Shop to help survivors of domestic violence. Donate your time or money to Babes, a crisis intervention program to support pregnant teenagers. Help underprivileged women to build confidence, develop skills and gain employment by offering your time to Daughters of Tomorrow. Or, find out about UN Women Singapore Committee and how you can get involved.
Great progress has been made, yes, but there is still so much more to achieve, and the struggle for true equality can only be overcome if we all fight together.
Next week on the Expatgiving blog, read about the issues that women and girls face around the world today.
Tell us which ordinary women you think have done extraordinary things. Whether it be your mum, your favourite author, artist or politician, we want to hear about it in the comments below.