Sunday, March 8 was International Women’s Day and while many gathered to march for the rights of women, the movement made its way to social media, sparking the hashtag #NotThere– a symbolic act to show that while much progress has been made in the fight for women’s rights, “we’re NOT THERE” — at least, not yet.
The strides women are making are plenty, but no matter how many women make it to CEO status, claim ownership of their bodies or how many little Nigerian school girls escape from the grip of Boko Haram, some of John Lennon’s lesser known lyrics ring true:
“We make her paint her face and dance
If she won’t be slave, we say that she don’t love us
If she’s real, we say she’s trying to be a man
While putting her down we pretend that she is above us
Woman is the n*gger of the world…yes she is
If you don’t believe me take a look to the one you’re with
Woman is the slaves of the slaves
Ah yeah…better scream about it
We make her bear and raise our children
And then we leave her flat for being a fat old mother hen
We tell her home is the only place she would be
Then we complain that she’s too unworldly to be our friend…”
Here’s just a few tell tale signs that show up all over the world, proving we’re #NotThere yet:
1. Child Brides
One in four women are married off before they turn 18. No matter where you are in the world, child marriage is a violate of human rights. One in four woman, aged 20-24 were child brides. Child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling, limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence.
Rates of child marriage are highest in South Asia, where nearly half of all girls marry before age 18; about one in six were married or in union before age 15. This is followed by West and Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa, where 42 percent and 37 percent, respectively, of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married in childhood.
2. Baby Momma Drama
The United States doesn’t know what paid maternity leave means. In the 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama stated that, “Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.”
Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employers with 50 or more workers must allow parents 12 weeks of job-protected leave annually to care for a newborn. While this means those individuals can take the time off without fear of losing their job, in most cases the leave is unpaid. States like California, New Jersey and Rhode Island offer paid family leave so far, with many states trailing behind without any type of policy.
3. Sex As A Weapon
One in three women has been sexually assaulted at some point in her life. While rape is a huge problem everywhere, it’s India that has the biggest problem with the aggressive act. Every 20 minutes in India, a woman is raped. According to the country’s National Crime Record Bureau, crimes against women have increased by 7.1 percent since 2010. Nearly one in three rape victims in India is under the age of 18. One in 10 are under 14. What’s crazy is that India ranks third for the number of rapes reported every year. The United State of America ranks in a number one. In the U.S., a woman is raped every 6.2 minutes.
4. Who’s The Boss
Women are making waves as CEOs but there’s a lot more men at the top than there are women. In fact, in the United States, more men hold the CEO title than all women worldwide, combined. There are 24 women CEOs in the Fortune 500 and 27 in the Fortune 1000. Although numbers are steadily rising and have been since 1998, there’s still a large gender gap at the head of the table.
The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigerian school girls and their families for the better part of the year and have been pouring down their reign of terror for the better part of 15 years. The girls they kidnapped in 2014 were reportedly sold off into marriage, displaying a lack of regard for their lives.
What do you think beauties? Are we getting closer to closing the gender gap?