Why International Women’s Day isn't going away.

LONDON — After a series of historic firsts and long-overdue breakthroughs, 2018 was called "the Year of the Woman."

A record 36 women won seats in the United States House of Representatives in midterm elections in November. Ireland voted to repeal one of the world's most restrictive abortion bans. Ethiopia appointed its first female president. And women in Saudi Arabia were not only allowed to attend a public soccer match for the first time, they were also permitted to drivelegally.

But it was also the year when there were fewer female Republicans in the United States Senate than men named Johnin the same chamber.

International Women's Day, observed on March 8, has always been a way to celebrate women's achievements and to call attention to all the work still left to be done on a global scale. (The theme for 2019 is "Balance for Better": seeking gender balance in the boardroom and elsewhere.)

In fact, more than 30 female leaders — past and present — recently warned in an open letter that progress was eroding, with Susana Malcorra, the former Argentine foreign minister, telling The Guardian that some countries led by "macho-type strongman" leaders are a factor.

It was a reminder that global gender parity still remained out of reach. Here are some numbers that tell the story.

200 million

That's the minimum number of women and girls on the planet who have undergone female genital mutilation, the United Nations says.

More than 130 million

The number of women and girls around the world who did not attend school in 2016, according to the Global Partnership for Education, an international organization.

750 million

This is how many women and girls alive today who have been married before the age of 18.

Twelve million girls marry before age 18 every year — 23 girls every minute, according to Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of civil society organizations that focuses on ending child marriage.

Child marriage, any formal or informal union where at least one of the parties is under 18, can be a result of traditional practices, gender inequality, poverty and illiteracy, experts say.

In Ethiopia, for example, 40 percent of girls were married in 2017 before they were 18; 14 percent had become wives before the age of 15.

1 in 3

The #MeToo campaign was a watershed moment in the movement to fight gender violence, as women from all walks of life publicly shared their own stories of rape, sexual harassment and other kinds of assault.

One in three women around the world have experienced either physical or sexual violence, according to the World Health Organization.

One in five women and girls ages from 15 to 49 have reported being victims of physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, the United Nations said, adding that 49 countries have no legislation protecting women from domestic violence.

About 5,000 women are murdered globally every year for having "dishonored" their families.

In 2017, the United States Defense Department received 6,769 reports of sexual assault involving service members as either victims or subjects of criminal investigation — 4,193 were from women, according to a statement released in May.

On Wednesday, the first American woman in the Air Force to fly in combat, Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, revealed in powerful testimony before a Senate committee that she had been raped by a superior officer and sexually assaulted multiple times during her career.

Over 50 percent

Women account for more than half of all people living with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. And AIDS-related illnesses remain "the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age," according to Avert, an international charity.

23.7 percent

This is the portion of female representation in national parliaments in the world, according to the United Nations.

12.8 percent

The percentage of women agricultural landholders in the world, the United Nations says.

23 percent

Governments have passed laws to fix the gender wage gap, and some companies, such as PwC and Shell U.K., are making an effort to narrow the discrepancy. But globally, women still earn 77 percent of what men do, the United Nations said.

Women may make up almost half of the world's population, but more than 2.7 billion of them are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men.

Men in 18 countries even have the right to legally prevent their wives from working. And some jobs, such as domestic work, are entirely unpaid.

"The global value of this work each year is estimated at 10 trillion U.S.D. — which is equivalent to one-eighth of the world's entire G.D.P.," according to Oxfam.

Over all, female participation in the global work force remains low compared to that of men — 26.7 percent lower, according to figures from the United Nations.

Finally, as women break barriers — NASA is planning the first all-female spacewalk on March 29, and in January the German capital, Berlin, made March 8, International Women's Day, a public holiday — no woman has ever been known to hold these jobs:

Secretary general of the United Nations; archbishop of Canterbury; Catholic priest; prime minister of Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain; governor of the Bank of England; and president of the United States.

New York Times, March 8, 2019


March 8, 2019

Voices4America Post Script. Happy International Women's Day. This is a worthwhile read of where we Women are worldwide as a group. Sucks. Fight on. #InternationalWomensDay2019

And yes, Manafort’s sentence also sucks. White male, plus class, privilege. This is something to repeat too, Trump’s campaign manager is going to jail. Only other Presidential campaign manager who went to jail was Richard Nixon’s.

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