Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Day Without a Woman and Why It Matters



Image result for A day without a WomanYesterday we celebrated ourselves, women and all gender oppressed people of all backgrounds, race, nationality, immigration status, age or disability, religion, sexual identity, gender expression, and economic status.  

On January 21st over 5 Million US demonstrators joined the Women’s March worldwide and over 1 Million in DC to make our voices heard. But it’s not over. We stood united yesterday in solidarity making March 8th A Day Without a Women to speak against for inequity, injustice and for the human rights of women.
The first International Women’s Day took place in 1911 in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Austria (According to the International Women’s Day website).  On March 8th we reflect on the courageous acts of ordinary women, who have and continue to play an extraordinary role to eradicate the inequities that continue to plague women today: receiving lower wages, discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity (to name a few).
Why does it matter? According to the Economist Gender Equality Scale: Glass Ceiling Index, a metric that demonstrates where women have the best chance of equal treatment at work, categorized the US below average in significant areas, when compared to 28 other Countries. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD performs an international biannual analysis of the economic trend to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people. The US, when compared to other Countries, was below the OECD average on wage gap equity, child care cost, paid maternity leave and women employed in parliament and government; and barely above average on gender equality for higher education.  Although the OECD has showed improvements on the gender equity on an international scale, Finland scoring the highest among 28 Countries, the wage gap continues to widened, furthering the notion that there is much work to be done.  This is among other women rights issues that have stemmed from the current administration, further jeopardizing our reproductive rights: the defunding of Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe vs. Wade. 
Yesterday, united in love and in the spirit of liberation, women:
  1. took the day off from (UN) paid labor
  2. avoided shopping for one day (unless from women or minority owned businesses)
  3. wore RED in solidarity with A Day Without a Women
We won’t stop until we close the doors to discrimination, gender injustice and all acts of oppression. Women’s rights are human rights.

For more information:

Lidyvez Sawyer, MPH, Director
Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Drexel University College of Medicine

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