New report proves "we're not there yet" in terms of gender equality. So what's next?
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. And amid the slew of inspiring Facebook statuses and tweets celebrating the achievements and strides women have made, it was almost possible to forget one thing—we’ve got a long way to go before gender equality is reached.
At an event on Monday, Hillary Clinton, announced a new data report about women’s progress in the past 20 years and how far we’ve still got to go before we’re on level ground. “We’re not there yet,” she said. “We still have a lot of work to do,”
That’s the message behind the Clinton Foundation’s latest initiative, the No Ceilings progress report, which strives to address this discrepancy between the perceived victories of gender equality and the cold hard facts.
Backed by a buzzy campaign—which involved Photoshopping women out of bus and billboard ads, a website (not_there.org), and a clever viral video “not” featuring Amy Poehler, Jenny Slate—the data in the report, released today, is a cold reminder that celebrating International Women’s Day is just the beginning of the work that needs to be done. We need to take action to ensure that the symbolism behind International Women’s Day is carried through to the other 364 days a year. So how can we accomplish this?
An important start is educating ourselves on the data behind women’s inequality. The No Ceilings report addresses the issue of the dramatic wage gap and how little it’s changed in 20 years. “”Since 1995, in 70 countries that include about one-third of the world’s population, the average gender wage gap narrowed, from 28 percent to 20 percent,” states the report. The data also details how almost two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women, how women occupy just under 5 percent of CEO jobs at Fortune 500 companies, and how only 18 countries have a female head of state or head of government— that’s just 6 more countries than in 1995.
“We still have a lot of work to do and we’re excited for you to dig into this data yourself, to use it, to share it, to learn from it, to get motivated by it,” Clinton said of the report, according to the Washington Times. She hopes it’s used as a tool for us all to make local and worldwide changes, guided by the facts. .
Learning and sharing this information is vital to ensuring that we’re all on the same page when it comes to the changes which need to be made on both state and international levels. Another, more localized way to carry on this message is by striving to treat everyone in our lives with equality—including and especially other women. The reality is, we should be nurturing one another’s successes rather than competing — because assuming that there is limited space for a woman’s success in this world is only proving the status quo to be correct.