by Rayhaneh Tehrani | 7 March 2018
Thursday 8 March 2018 marks International Women’s Day 2018. You will have seen lots of media coverage about this in recent weeks as it seems this year more than ever there has been a spotlight shining on women’s equality.
International Women’s Day came into existence in the early 1900s, with the aim to promote gender equality across the globe. Women have a come a long way since the days when we weren’t even allowed to vote, but unfortunately there are still inconsistencies in both the developed and developing world.
In 2018 there are still a huge number of problems suffered by women. Some of these include:
- Pay inequality between men and women. This is on varying scales across the world, but we can see that it is happening in massive corporations like the BBC, as evidenced by recent events.
- There is still not an equal number of men and women in positions of responsibility across a wide variety of sectors such as business, politics, medicine, finance, etc.
- There are still major issues around violence towards women which are not being addressed.
- Sexual misconduct is still ongoing and women are suffering on a daily basis. We have seen more of this come to light in the recent Hollywood scandal.
- Female Genital Mutilation is still happening on a large scale.
- Women across many cultures are still not allowed freedom of marriage. There are many cases of child marriages and forced marriages.
- Many young girls and women in countries across the world still don’t have the same rights as their male counterparts in relation to access to education.
In our day-to-day lives it is often easy to forget about the hardships and struggles of others around the world. It is important to highlight these issues in order for people to take notice and make a change. There have been so many positive developments in recent times such as Iceland now making it illegal to pay men more than women. Hopefully other Countries will follow suit.
One of the aims of International Women’s Day is to highlight these issues and draw attention to them in order to press forward and progress gender equality. The aim is to motivate and unite people in the community to be more gender inclusive. There are a huge number of events, initiatives and campaigns taking place. You can find out more about it and how to get involved here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
I think the great thing about having a dedicated International Women’s Day is that it celebrates how far we have come in the last century, and how much more still needs to be done. In terms of sector specific updates, there have also been developments in terms of the gender split within the Legal profession. The Law Society Gazette reported that women now make up 48 percent of all Solicitors. This is something that has taken almost 100 years to happen since Carrie Morrison was the first female in England to be admitted as a Solicitor back in the 1920s. The Law Society Gazette also reports that women now make up 33 percent of Partners in law firms, so there is still room for improvement.
I feel lucky to work in a company that has an equal ratio of men and women on the Board of Directors. In fact at Sellick Partnership the number of female staff far outstrips the number of male staff!
To read more blog on the progress of women in business you can check out our dedicated page below.