International Women’s Day – March 8th 2018

| By TMA World

My wife – who has been a feminist since the 1960s – worries that many young women today have become too complacent about the role and rights of women in the world.  I agree.  

Progress has been made, of course, but when you have travelled the world as much as I have the startling inequalities between men and women slap you hard in the face.

According to a 2017 report by the World Economic Forum, it could still take another 168 years before the global equality gap between men and women disappears.  In 2017, women effectively worked 51 days a year for free because of the gender pay gap.  

International Women’s day has been observed since the early 1900s.  Some trace its roots to 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding voting rights, better pay and shorter working hours.

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have brought renewed attention to the sexual abuse and harassment directed at women in the workplace. Meghan Markle, soon to be wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, is far from silent on women’s issues, and – who knows – even the British Royal Establishment might find its traditional political and cultural neutrality being challenged.  In my view, ‘neutrality’ is sometimes the unethical position to take. 

There are many ways to participate in International Women’s day, and the best source for finding out how is here.  You can find information on making a pledge for parity, joining one of the many events happening around the world, and guidance on how to host your own event.

One way to mark the day is to highlight the values that guide the International Women’s day values that “provide the type of action, behavior and ethos associated with this critical and globally-supported day.”  The values are: 

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

More in-depth explanations of these values can be found at the International Women’s day website.

I see the fight for gender parity being a human issue, and not strictly a “women’s issue”.  My career has been focused on developing human potential, and when half of humanity is still disadvantaged in contributing its talents, I feel shame and anger.  Wasting talent is not only unethical, but a criminal waste that the world can ill afford.

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