On International Women’s Day we’re thinking especially of all the FAB young women in our youth groups and the brilliant mums and grannies we have in the church. We’re praying for freedom and equality for all women across the world – for education, legal status, justice, freedom from violence and more:
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International Women’s Day, like any event that promotes positive discrimination, is accompanied by its fair share of negative remarks. International Women’s Day is still needed to motivate change, at home and abroad. Some of these statistics from The Independent put into sharp relief just how far we still have to go.
- Globally, about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. About 44 per cent of all UK women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old. Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused.
- On average, 30% of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner.
- 38 per cent of all murders of women worldwide are committed by a woman’s intimate partner.
- A UN report said 99.3% of women and girls in Egypt had been subjected to sexual harassment.
Female Genital Mutilation
- This is where girls have either all or part of their clitoris and inner and outer labia sliced off without anaesthesia, and sometimes have part of their vaginas sewn up too.
- Over 130 million women living in the world today have undergone Female Genital Mutilation.
- There as as many as 24,000 girls are at risk of cutting in the UK.
- In one Birmingham hospital as many as 40 to 50 women every month are treated after undergoing female genital mutilation.
- Around 14 million girls, some as young as eight years old, will be married in 2014.
- An estimated 1.2m children are trafficked into slavery each year; 80 per cent are girls.
- In 10 countries around the world women are legally bound to obey their husbands
- Only 76 countries have legislation that specifically addresses domestic violence – and just 57 of them include sexual abuse.
- In the UK, the gender pay gap stands at 15%, with women on average earning £5,000 less a year than their male colleagues. The disparity is even greater in part time jobs, going up to 35 per cent.
- Globally only a 24 per cent of senior management roles are now filled by women.
- The Equalities and Human Rights Commission estimates it will take 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies.
- This hurts everyone. The gender gap in certain industries is even more apparent and damaging. Zemach Getahun estimates that closing the gender gap in agriculture could reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12-17 per cent.
- If the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work in the UK were fully utilised, the UK could deliver economic benefits of £15 to £21 billion pounds per year – more than double the value of all our annual exports to China.