Here at Momentum we are pretty excited about March 8th, International Women’s Day. Our work to develop Alabama’s talented women leaders goes on year-round, but on March 8th we take the “broader view” (pun intended.) On International Women’s Day, we look around the world at the incredible contributions of women from every country, every industry, every socio-economic strata, and every age…often despite sexism that is deeply embedded in laws, policies, culture, religion, education and families. When we look into the challenges women face, at home and abroad, it’s time to get back to work.
According to a 2012 study by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, of the 93,000 female homicides that year, 47% of the women were killed by intimate partners and family members. Let that sink in for a moment. There is much work to do, and many women risk their lives every day to study, to work, to provide for their families, to demand equal protection under the law.
Here in the United States, we may not face death threats each day for pursuing a career or running for political office, but we are far from equal. There is still much work to do. Consider just a few harsh realities in the Land of the Free…
- Women represent half of the population, but only 20% of elected officials
- 85% of brand purchases are made by women, but only 20% of board seats are held by women
- Women still earn 20% less than men
- The stats on violence against women are appalling: more than 1,000 American women are murdered every year by a current or former male partner (that’s 3 per day.)
On International Women’s Day, take a moment to appreciate heroines, leaders, and inspiring women around the world. Then make a commitment to take action. Here’s a page of action resources from the United State of Women website that’s a great place to start. There is much work to do.