International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political, social and cultural achievements of women.
To mark this day, here are ten reasons we need to continue working towards advancing the rights of women and girls worldwide.
- In January 2015, only 17% of government ministers globally were women (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2015).
- Around the world, women are paid less than men, in most countries earning on average 60%-75% of men's wages (World Bank Gender Data Portal, 2015).
- Over a third of women have experienced physical/sexual violence by a partner and/or sexual violence by a non-partner in their lifetime.
- An EU survey showed that 34% of women with a health problem or disability had experienced violence by a partner in their lifetime, compared to 19% per cent of women without a health problem or disability (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014).
- According to UN Women, in conflict and post-conflict countries, maternal mortality is on average 2.5 times higher.
- Women are more likely than men to work in informal employment. In South Asia, over 80% of women in non-agricultural jobs are in informal employment. In sub-Saharan Africa, the figure is 74%, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, it is 54% (UN Women, 2015).
- Of 585 peace agreements from 1990 to 2010, only 92 contained any reference to women (International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 2010).
- Women bear disproportionate caring responsibility for children, the elderly and the sick, spending as much as ten times more time a day on unpaid care work than men, according to the World Bank.
- Women's participation increases the probability of peace agreements lasting at least two years by 20%. It also increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting 15 years by 35%, according to UN Women.
- Girls who complete primary and secondary education are likely to earn income, have fewer unwanted pregnancies and break the cycle of poverty.