Original Link: https://wildhunt.org/2022/03/a-general-accounting-on-international-womens-day-2022.html
By Star Bustamonte
TWH – For over a century today has been marked with some form of recognition and celebration of women and their accomplishments. There will be a slew of companies that have made and will make posts on social media platforms, and pay for commercials to run on a variety of mainstream outlets, “celebrating women.”
And yet according to 2020 U.S. census reports, gender equality when it comes to equal pay, women still only make $0.82 on the dollar when compared to the wages of men. And that pay disparity is in general. Women of color fare even worse ranging anywhere from $0.64 to $0.57 on the dollar when compared to the pay of white men. This information is not new, per se. The wage gap has existed for as long as women have been working and getting paid for their work. And what about how well women are represented when it comes to the political landscape? While there are more women being elected to represent constituents than ever before, women are still seriously underrepresented when it comes to lawmaking and governance. Women in the U.S. make up 51% of the population, yet only 24% of the Senate, and 27.8% of Congress in 2022 according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) and the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Of the 145 women serving in Congress, only 26 identify as Black, 14 identify as Latina, 10 identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander, 1 identifies as Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian, and 1 identifies as Middle Eastern/North African. The other 95 women serving in Congress identify as white.
The numbers at the state level compiled by Represent Women are slightly better:
30% of statewide elected executives of any kind 31% of state legislators 31% of the largest cities’ mayors 25% of mayors in cities with populations over 30,000 Yet they are nowhere near accurately reflecting the population of the nation–even at 31%, that is still a 20% under-representation.
The number of women serving as lawmakers matters in many ways, but perhaps the biggest impact is seen in the legislation that has been passed in just the last few years when it comes to women’s reproductive health. As of December 2021, 26 states were cited as being either likely or certain to ban access to abortion by the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide.
The access that women have to just routine reproductive health care has either declined or swings in the balance currently. During the first year of the pandemic, reproductive health care declined by 10%. And despite 92% of women and girls having some form of health insurance, 12.6 million lacked coverage which limits their access to overall healthcare, and 1 in 9 women of reproductive age (19-54) lacked insurance in 2020. The numbers are likely higher than this since the U.S. Census Bureau only counts those who did not have insurance for all 12 months of 2020 as being uninsured. If all of this seems dismal, it is because it is. And these statistics do not include the violence against women–globally, 736 million women, roughly one in three have experienced some form of either physical or sexual violence. And yet on the plus side, globally there is some improvement in several areas. Eight countries in 2021 saw the first women sworn into or elected to top leadership positions. According to an article published by U.N. Women:
[2021 kicked off with] Kaja Kallas taking office in January as Estonia’s first woman Prime Minister. Samia Suluhu Hassan became Tanzania’s first woman President in March. In May, Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa was elected Prime Minister of Samoa. June saw Robinah Nabbanja nominated to the role of Prime Minister of Uganda. Najla Bouden Ramadhane was named Tunisia’s Prime Minister in September, making her the first woman to lead a country in the Arab region. After a 2020 decision that Barbados would become a Republic, the first presidential election held in October 2021 saw Sandra Mason become the country’s first-ever female President. Sweden’s parliament voted in Magdalena Andersson as Prime Minister in November. In December, Xiomara Castro was elected President of Honduras; she will officially take office in 2022. Albania has a record-setting 70 per cent women cabinet, Germany got its first gender-equal cabinet, and Iraq and Kosovo exceeded their gender quotas for parliament. In January Kamala Harris took office as the first woman Vice President of the United States. Harris is notably also the first Black-American and Asian-American to fill the role.
And there were a number of other gains around the world in 2021 that can definitely be counted as improvements–like Spain strengthening rape laws; the first gender-equal constitutional assembly in the world was elected in Chile; and Lebanon banning the arranged marriage of girls under the age of 15.
Women also experienced greater recognition in arts, entertainment, science, and technology particularly for their contributions when it came to the pandemic. However, when it comes to Nobel prizes only one woman was awarded the honor. Maria Ressa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1901 only 58 women have been awarded a Nobel prize in the combined categories, compared with 876 men. Perhaps the largest visible increase in women’s participation was at the Tokyo Summer Olympics with close to 49% of the competitors being women. So yes, there were certainly gains and improvements for women in important areas but the fact that it even still requires tallying each year speaks loudly and underscores that there is still a long way to go before the world attains true gender equality.