Today 8th March, the world celebrates “International Women's Rights Day”. This day has been on the United Nations calendar since 1977, the International Year of Women's Rights. It’s a global opportunity to examine the state of women's rights around the world. During this day people discuss the victories but also what remains to be done. This year's theme is "I am from Generation Equality: Stand Up for Women's Rights".
About women rights, what is the current state of affairs?
The international community recognizes that progress towards gender equality is very slow and there is no country in the world that has yet achieved it. In 184 countries out of 194, gender equality is currently guaranteed in the constitutions, but discrimination against women still occurs around the world.
Forms of discrimination
Discrimination can be direct and indirect. Direct means that discrimination between the two sexes is clearly established. A discrimination is indirect when there is no will to discriminate but the choices, the decision or what is put in place impacts one of the two sexes negatively. An example of indirect discrimination is the pension scheme: it allows both men and women to participate but the problem is that you have to be a full-time worker. Only women are more likely than men to work part-time and therefore not be able to participate.
Let’s have a look at some figures :
· Women's wages are 23% lower than men's worldwide.
· Women occupy only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide.
· 1 in 3 women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives.
· In more than 50 countries women are denied the right to acquire, change or retain their nationality.
· 750 million adults in the world are illiterate and two-thirds are women.
· Every day, women spend three times as much time on unpaid care and domestic work as men do.
· 830 women die every day from preventable pregnancy-related causes
· 1 in 3 girls aged 15 to 19 undergo female genital mutilation in the 30 countries where the practice is most common - 200 million women
· There are 700 million women alive today who were married as minors.
8th March in Malta
Every 8th March many events are organised around the world and Malta is no exception.
Events such as free yoga and dance classes, but also concerts are organized today for women in the country. A march is also organized by Moviment Graffitti and Women's Rights Foundation on the Parliament Square in Valletta from 3 pm.
Don't hesitate to find out more and join the march to defend women's rights.
Together we are stronger.