The theme has been selected to promote the idea that gender balance and equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive.
But where are we when it comes to gender equality?
While there has been progress in recent years, we’re still far from achieving gender equality.
Globally, two-thirds of all illiterate people are women.
And while we currently have a female Prime Minister here in the UK, less than 15% of the world’s leaders are women.
Did you know that in 18 countries around the world, men can legally prevent their wives from working?
And in 39 countries, sons and daughters do not share equal inheritance rights.
Even more shockingly, one in four countries do not have specific laws against domestic violence.
Women still earn less than men too. In the EU, women earn on average 16% less per hour than men.
But, with women ploughing as much as 90% of their income back into their families (as opposed to men who only invest around 35%), the simple fact is that when women earn more, their children’s health and education improves. So, ensuring that women are paid fairly and have access to education is not only important for them, but for future generations too.
How are attitudes changing?
Attitudes towards women’s roles are changing…slowly. 44% of Europeans still believe that a woman’s most important role is taking care of her home and family.
And 73% of Europeans say that women spend more time than men on housework and other caring duties.
Three in five adults surveyed agreed that men and women do have the same amount of ambition in their working careers, and the same proportion agreed that women who work flexibly have the same ambition as women who work a traditional pattern.
Women are starting to believe that they deserve to earn the same as men. One in four women aged 25 to 39 are bothered that their male partners earn more than them (whereas just one in ten aged 40-54 and one in twenty aged 55+ are bothered by this).
Men do seem to still be feeling the pressure to be the main breadwinner, with four in ten saying they feel a responsibility to earn more than their female partner. But this pressure seems to be lessening with each new generation – just a quarter of men aged 18-24 feel that it’s their responsibility.
So, it’s clear that we still have a way to go when it comes to gender equality. Attitudes are changing, but not easy to change attitudes that have been culturally and socially ingrained.
One of the best ways to encourage a change in attitude and a move towards greater gender equality is to ensure that this is something young people grow up believing in.
So, who knows, simply by marking International Women’s Day in your classroom, you could be helping the world’s population towards a brighter, more equal future!
And why not arrange a school trip that will inspire all your students to reach for their dreams?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information or to request a tailor-made quote.