Celebrating the achievement of women is essential; breaking biases plaguing women is also important. A girlfriend of mine asked me, “why is everyone posting pictures of women? what is the significance of international women’s day?” her question is valid, and while I agree that women should be celebrated. We must also maintain some focus on the biases and disadvantages still plaguing women.
Celebrating women means celebrating all that women have accomplished, the history made for equality, and the empowerment of every woman to live up to the phenomenon we all are.
International women’s day was celebrated globally on March 8th. The internet was filled with posts about women and people celebrating the women in their lives. There were articles, news segments, Instagram posts, Twitter posts, and Facebook posts in celebration of women.
I applaud every person who understands the contribution women make to the world. I applaud every woman that has broken a glass ceiling. And I applaud the journey and hard work it has taken for women to be where we are today. I applaud every woman for facing a world that judges, misunderstands, requires so much from her, yet she faces it gracefully.
As we applaud the movement and how far we’ve come, we must also remember and remind the world of how far we have to go. In the spirit of this year’s theme #BreakTheBias, women should #BreakTheBias of inequities we still face each day and shed light on the list of barriers that women still face.
Women Are Paid Less Than Their Male Counterparts.
It baffles the mind to think that women earn less than men. Articles have been written about equal pay because women are paid $.82 to every $1.00 a man is paid. There are headlines about women fighting and protesting for the basic right to have economic stability. Yet, we continue to fight through remarkable resilience to receive the full opportunity we are afforded as humans and as women.
The consequences of the wage gap are that it creates a systemic cycle of the opportunity gap. These barriers keep women in lower-level, lower-paid, individual-contributor positions than those held by their male executive and management counterparts.
The pay gap has lifelong consequences for women. Because women earn less than men, women have a more challenging time paying their student loans, so women hold over two-thirds of the national student loan debts. Women also face more difficulty in retirement because over their lifetime, they earn less, thus pay less into Social Security and consequently receive less in Social Security Pension.
The Pink Tax
Although women earn less than men, when a woman buys women’s products like feminine hygiene items, women’s clothing, women’s razors, women’s body wash, they are “taxed” for these items in most states. Women’s consumer products cost more than their male version of the same product.
Products used by women during their monthly menstrual cycle are considered luxury items. I can’t imagine any woman equating driving in a Bugatti to the bodily function that often causes pain and discomfort and prohibits many of us from attending work or school in the same category when it comes to living a life of luxury. Yet, these items are considered a luxury and are taxed in 33 states in the United States.
If you live in a state that still places a tax on feminine products, sign the petition to eliminate the tax.
There are numerous examples of women’s items, like razors. The men’s version is typically blue and the women’s version pink, yet the pink version costs more than the male version.
A study by New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs revealed the staggeringly high costs of being a woman. The study reviewed 35 products; in all five (5) products, women paid more for the same product category than the male version.
- 7 percent more for toys and accessories
- 4 percent more for children’s clothing
- 8 percent more for adult clothing
- 13 percent more for personal care products
- 8 percent more for senior/home health care products
One of the greatest privileges afforded to human beings is education. To equip a child with knowledge and information is to provide them with the power to live a more fulfilled life. Many children, both boys, and girls, are not well educated, and more so for girls worldwide. Studies reveal that 16 million girls will never set foot in a classroom. Women account for two-thirds of the 750 million adults without basic literacy skills.
Girls still make up a higher percentage of out-of-school children than boys globally. Gender disparities disadvantaging girls in primary education persist in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Celebrate women for the balance they bring to the home. For literally bringing life into the world, for dedicating their lives in service to others (their children, friends, spouses). One month or one day isn’t enough to celebrate women; the celebration of women should be a daily activity.
Of equal importance and worthy of celebration is the number of barriers that women have broken; as we post about “phenomenal women,” about “motherhood,” and about pride, let’s also remind the world of the items we still need to accomplish. We should #breakthebias of the very notion of inequity, #breakthebias gaps in education, #breakthebias the pay gap, #breakthebias the pink tax.
Thanks for sharing this topic with me