March is National Women’s History Month, and for many, the idea of “women’s solidarity” is a far-reaching subject.
With a newly-elected president who has previously made startling comments about women, it is important now more than ever to recognize the importance of women and to stand as one in favor of women’s rights.
In the days following the president’s inauguration, countless protesters marched in cities around the world in support of women’s rights in the face of perceived opposition. The protesters were marching for more than just themselves, however. They were speaking out about the plight of women across the world.
In many countries around the world, the gender gap is even wider than it is in the United States. Issues such as a lack of education , sex trafficking, and poverty are faced by women every single day across the globe. According to globalcitizen.org, 31 million school-aged girls were not given access to education. Moreover, 74 million unplanned pregnancies and 36 million abortions occur every year due to a lack of family-planning resources. An unfortunate 1 in 3 women will face some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
Even at home, the situation for women is somewhat lacking. According to a study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), on average, women were paid approximately 80 percent of what men were paid in 2015. In addition, while women’s health issues such as abortion have been protected by Supreme Court decisions, the stigma of taking advantage of facilities designed to cater to said issues is still present in many areas.
Along with this includes the lack of progress in maternity leave, with developed countries having more than two months of paid leave but the United States only having 12 months of unpaid leave, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research model from 2008.
Understanding the importance of women is vital to national unity. Until the gender gap is completely closed and both sexes can live on equal terms, people will continue to come together to protest in favor of women’s rights.