Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is this equality?

Today, Tuesday August 26th marks Women’s Equality Day. It frustrates me that we recognize and celebrate a day for equality that is far from reality. Yes, women have made many strides over the years, but if you take a look at the world around us it is clear that despite these triumphs, women in the U.S. (and around the world) are still treated as second-class citizens:

-Women only make $.77 to a man’s dollar ($.71 for African American women; $.58 for Latinas).
- Women only make up 16% of our representatives in Congress.
- Every day 4 women die in this country as a result of domestic violence.
- One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
- Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by intimates.
- More than 130 million girls and women around the world have undergone female genital mutilation.
- Nearly 75% of the nation’s elderly poor are women.
- Women are only half as likely as men to receive a pension, and those who do, receive only half as much.
- Women are still being told what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, as access to birth control and abortions is more of a threat today than ever before.
- Women athletes continue to get fewer teams, fewer scholarships, and lower budgets than their male counterparts.
- Female caregivers may spend as much as 50% more time providing care than male caregivers.
- Americans still do not feel confidant in electing a woman to the White House.

And that’s not all. Tell me is this equality? What if the genders were versed and these statistics were true not for women, but men? How can we celebrate an equality that obviously does not exist? We must persist in the fight for women’s rights to make certain that one day these unjust statistics are not true and we can truly celebrate.

“If you want to taste freedom, keep going.”