Why do we need International Women’s Day?

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This is a frequently asked question and material from the Fawcett Society, Opportunity Now and the IWD global website offers the answers:

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s point to the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legal rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.
Did you know?
•Men outnumber women in Parliament 4 to 1; only 1 in 5 MPs (Members of Parliament) are women. At the current rate of progress it will take 14 elections, or up to 70 years, to achieve an equal number of women MPs
•Just 22% of Cabinet posts are held by women (5 out of 23 )
•30.8% of local Councillors in England are women
•Over half of law graduates are women, yet only 15% of High Court Judges are women
•The UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers (8%) across the EU, and far behind Bulgaria and Sweden with 29% and 26% respectively, further still behind China’s 40%
•78% of newspaper articles in the UK are written by men
•97% of UK executive board positions are held by men
•15.6% is the representation of women on FTSE 100 boards
•42% of women work part-time compared to 12% of men
•9.1% is the median full-time hourly earnings pay gap between men & women
•1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and 1 in 3 teenage girls think it’s sometimes acceptable for a woman to be hit in a relationship
•1 in 3 girls at school say that they experience unwanted sexual contact and 23% of women experience sexual assault as adults
•Half of three to six-year-old girls say they worry about being fat; by the age of seven, 70% of girls want to be thinner and by age nine, half have been on a diet. For girls aged between 11 and 17, most say it’s their number one wish in life to be thinner

To tackle some of these issues our local celebration of International Women’s Day is about –
• Celebrating women’s achievements
• Inspiring girls & women to take up new opportunities
• Raising awareness of the issues affecting girls and women
• Renewing efforts to break down gender barriers
• Raising aspirations and broadening horizons

The IWD Derby event encourages everyone to do their bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, healthy, safe and rewarding. Please show your support with a Like on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/WomensDayDerby

And we are also supporting Derby’s first International Men’s Day event on 17th November at Pride Park to engage boys and men.
http://www.facebook.com/IMDDerby

Opportunity for Local Students

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A big thank you to Derby College and Burton & South Derbyshire College for pledging support for International Women’s Day Derby 2013! These partnerships will open up opportunities for local students to gain experience and get involved in the planning, promotion and celebration! We look forward to working with the students and staff at both colleges to put on a great event!