Yesterday was International Women’s Day (IWD) and Radhika Sanghani, writing in the Telegraph, provided an excellent analysis of why we need to celebrate IWD. “It isn’t just a hashtag,” she writes, “it’s a reminder that women worldwide are subjected to shocking abuse from sexual violence in warzones and female genital mutilation, to forced marriage and becoming child brides.”
In addition to Sanghani’s observation of how women suffer, in many countries across the globe, we must not forget that they face discrimination in even the most subtle forms; women across the world still suffer from a gender pay gap which despite much awareness has yet to close.
The first IWD was held in 1911 and was marked in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Over a million men and women joined rallies where they campaigned for women’s rights to vote, be educated and be able to hold public office.
Since then it has grown significantly and some countries treat the day as a national holiday, even Google joined in the marking of the day with a doodle!
The theme this year is ‘make it happen’ and it aims to encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women.
In other news this week it was also revealed that large firms will have to reveal differences between average pay for male and female workers under a change to a law passing through Parliament.
A BBC article online stated: “Firms with more than 250 employees that don’t comply with the new rules could face fines of up to £5,000.”
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian Labour leader, Ed Miliband promises has the strength of character to be Prime Minister.
It’s a very personal interview and he admits he worries about his role as Father if he does become Prime Minister.
Asked for a defining policy, he said: “On inequality, I’ve moved Labour on from where New Labour would have been. I care about the gap between the rich and the poor.”
He is adamant the gap between rich and poor is very important and it’s not good enough to say if the rich pay their taxes then it’s OK.
He also said that decency shouldn’t be confused for weakness and insists he has strong convictions. “The moment you become arrogant, you stop listening, and when you stop listening, you don’t understand what’s actually happening. If people know me as a decent guy who does things his own way, I think that’s incredibly important.”
You can read the interview here.