Do we still need International Women’s Day in 2021? – Dianne Casey

Do we still need International Women’s Day in 2021?
Dianne Casey

Yes, we do!

Every year at least 4 people will say what about men… International Men’s day is the 19 November each year so please don’t feel left out!

International Women’s Day to me…
Is an opportunity to listen, speak out, gain information and support. Here are some pointers why women still need this day…

  • Women are outnumbered in parliament today 1 to 4. It will take another eighty years from now to be equal to men
  • In the UK today, 2 in 3 on national minimum wage are women
  • 1/2 of women have admitted experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime
  • 2 women a week are murdered by their current or ex-partners in the UK
  • #MeToo; #TimesUp
  • Over 137,700 children in the UK have missed school because of period poverty… Menstrual products cost more than £18,000, in a women’s life (£13 every month). 40% of girls in the UK have used toilet roll because they couldn’t afford menstrual products.
  • Child marriage around the world.
    • 1 in 5 girls. In the world are said to be married before 18.
    • 650 Million. Over 650 million women alive today were married as children.
  • Education. Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate people. According to global statistics, just 39 per cent of rural girls attend secondary school… Rural women’s deficits in education have long-term implications for family well-being and poverty reduction.
  • Conviction rates for rape are far lower than other crimes (Kelly, Lovett and Regan, A gap or a chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases, 2005). Only 5.7% of reported rape cases end in a conviction for the perpetrators
  • At least 200 million girls and women alive today living in 30 countries have undergone FGM
  • And so it goes on… I want to share the words from Lucy…

”I am clearly not an object please don’t treat me like one
I am a human and therefore I am no different from you
And I don’t need you to carry my books to a lesson because in your eyes girls are weak I am more than capable to do a certain task
I am a girl clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear for the future
I am a girl”

Excerpt from poem by Lucy age 12 from Redcar Girl kind NE

So, women, this is my rallying cry… Be the difference! We need to keep marching!

If you are still doubting that women need this day, here are some examples I heard whilst researching this topic from local women…

”I was told when I went for job in RAF the interviewer said you could be a driver as there was no point hiring women as no sooner were they trained they would have babies, went and took my own private flying lessons”

”I was told I was ‘drumming up outrage’ and pretty much accused of making up a story when I tried to draw attention to women being victim blamed following a rape”

”I was told in response to a typo I made: “This is what happens when silly little girls are employed. They are more interested in getting to the nail bars after work, as a result we see sloppy work.”

”I was told, that girls don’t play cricket. The school I went to divided sports along gender lines. Girls had to play netball, hockey and do gymnastics. Boys played cricket, rugby and football. But I LOVED cricket. I had grown up watching it with my Dad and I really wanted to play. But no – girls didn’t play cricket. When I went back to University in my mid-20s to do a Masters and a PhD, a Women’s cricket team had just started up and so I joined. Within 3 years I was the University’s Women’s Cricket Club President. ”

So International Women’s Day 2021 “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”

➡️ Image: Strong image drawn by Laura #InternationalDayOfTheGirl … For an exhibition called “A girls frame of mind” for #girlkindNE

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