International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was marked on Friday of this week. It was an event which sparked both celebrations and protests; even the TV soap Emmerdale decided to air a special episode with an all-female cast. We may think that equality between the sexes is established, (hey, women are now even allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia!), but the statistics tell another story. In the legal profession 62% of new solicitors in 2018 were women, while only 31% of partners in private practice are women. Only 1% of all-women start-ups actually receive funding. According to the ONS almost 80% of companies pay men more than women and FGM affects more than 200mn women in more than 30 countries.

Early 19th century Christian abolitionist, Sojourner Truth, said in her famous speech, “Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs me any best place!” And raising herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunder, she asked. “And a’n’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! (and she bared her right arm to the shoulder, showing her tremendous muscular power). I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And a’n’t I a woman?

 


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