Sunday, March 11, 2007

IWD Came and Went - and Women are still Paid less than Men

At a Socialist International meeting in Copenhagen1910, in the house of the People, an International Women's Day was proposed to honour the women's rights movement and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. They got the suffrage, but they did not get equality!!

On the Internation women's Day Common Dreams calls attention to this roll call of shame:

  • Two-thirds of the world's 800 million illiterate adults are women as girls are not seen as worth the investment, or are busy collecting water or firewood or doing other domestic chores.

  • Two million girls aged from five to 15 join the commercial sex market every year.

  • Domestic violence kills and injures more people in the developing world than war, cancer or traffic accidents.

  • Seventy per cent of the world's poorest people are women.

  • Violence against women causes more deaths and disabilities among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war.

  • Women produce half the world's food, but own less than two per cent of the land.

  • Of the more than one billion people living in extreme poverty, 70 per cent are women.

  • Almost a third of the world's women are homeless or live in inadequate housing.

  • Half of all murdered women are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.

  • Every minute a woman dies as a result of pregnancy complications.

  • Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, yet earn only a tenth of its income.
    One woman in three will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime
    .

There was not much activity in Denmark on March 8th, but many places in the poor countries women workers staged protests. The women in the poor countries are the worst hit by inequality, discrimination and abuse. But even in Denmark there are still many problems of unequal treatment of women. Domestic violence is still widespread. Equal pay is something women can read about in government and trade union reports. Particularly in the private sector, admittance to the men's room where deals are made, cigars smoked, and whiskies downed, is not for women.

So, why didn't Danish women march in demonstrations in much larger numbers?

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