Saturday, 8 March 2014

International Women's Day

March 8th marks International Women's Day, a day dedicated to respecting the rights of women. My place of employment decided to honour this today with some customer appreciation. It was pretty cool, we provided all customers with a ten percent discount, free coffee and all women got some chocolate. My personal favourite part of the day was when I explained why we were having all of these treats to an elderly woman and she exclaimed "well, I am an international woman!" 

I was really excited about the chocolate selection as lindor is my absolute favourite. I just adore the texture and richness in their chocolate truffles! 

The coffee I wasn't as much of a fan of. I'm really particular about how I take my coffee and there wasn't a wide variety in the whole "milk vs cream," section or blend options. Plus I just found the coffee super runny and watery. But hey, it was free so why complain. 

We also opened the store to local female run businesses and had quite a good turn out. It was exciting to hear about all the businesses women in my community were involved in. My personal favourite was a woman who ran a children's hobby and entertainment store and brought in a ton of lego. 

All in all it was an exciting experience, but I don't think it really conveyed the message of what international woman's day embodies. So, I decided I'd collect some pretty upsetting stats on woman internationally to highlight why this day needs international recognition. 

  1. 70 percent of the two billion poor are women
  2. Even in industrialized countries there are large differences in salaries by gender, even within the same occupations.
  3. In the U.S., the median annual income for women working full time is 23 percent lower than for their male counterparts
  4. In many countries marrying young females to middle aged men is practiced 
  5. In developing countries young girls are less likely to receive an education 
  6. Women make up more than 50 percent of the global population, but fill less than 20 percent of all parliamentary seats.
  7. Girls are actually less likely to reach adulthood because of gender discrimination. Tens of millions of girls have been aborted, killed, undernourished, or terribly neglected due to their gender
  8. More than 16.4 million women in the world have HIV/AIDS. In some regions, girls are HIV-positive at a rate 5 times that of boys.
  9. The majority of persons smuggled illegally across country borders are women. Many of them are kidnapped or sold by their own families into the sex industry.
  10. Every 90 seconds, one woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable, but due to gender-based discrimination many women are not given the proper education or care they need.
Unfortunately there's a lot of terrible things that happen to women internationally and even domestically. The things I've listed here only discuss international women's rights infringements, but just think of all the misogynistic and offensive things we see in the media or in our actual lives everyday. Now I wouldn't consider myself the world biggest feminist, but I think any sane person can recognize that these things need to change and the best way to ignite a change is to increase education on these topics. Happy international women's day, be proud of the woman you are and stand up for the woman who can't stand up for themselves! 


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