All people—male and female—are made in the image of God, and therefore have dignity, worth and unique strengths to contribute. However, persistent gender inequality often still holds women back around the world. Women account for half of the world’s population, but they often work more, get paid less and are significantly more likely to be the victims of violence than men.
In the last century, women’s rights have come a long way, but they still have a long way to go. In honor of International Women’s Day, here are some stats that show why we still need to advocate for women’s rights around the world.
1 in 3 Women Will Experience Sexual or Domestic Violence at Some Point in Their Lives
According to a U.N. report, “women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.”
Two-Thirds of the Illiterate People in the World are Female
There are roughly 775 million illiterate adults worldwide. More than 510 million of them are women, because women are more likely to be denied education. This is detrimental, as educated women are less likely to become child brides, less likely to die in childbirth and more likely to find work.
Women in the United States Make 79 Cents for Every Dollar a Man Makes
According to a 2015 study from the National Partnership for Women and Families:
“Nationally, on average, a woman who holds a full- time, year-round job is paid $39,621 per year while a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is paid $50,383 per year … For women of color, the wage gap is greater. African American women are paid, on average, 60 cents and Latinas are paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.”
Only 22 Percent of All National Parliamentarians Are Female
The number of women in U.S. Congress reached a record high of more than 100 in 2014, but females still hold less than 20 percent of the seats. Over the last 50 years, only 7.4 percent of countries have had female heads of state.
Women Account for 70 Percent of Those Living on Less Than $1 a Day
Women make up a disproportionate amount of the roughly 1.3 billion people around the world living in extreme poverty.
Women Currently Hold 20 of the CEO Positions at S&P 500 Companies
That means just 4.8 percent of those companies have a female CEO. Some studies have suggested it could take as long as 70 years for leadership in companies to equal out.
Women Spend at Least Twice as Much Time as Men on Unpaid Domestic Work
Women tend to take on most of the responsibilities of household tasks and caring for children and the elderly, even if they are working outside of the home, as well.
Less Than 30 Percent of Characters in Movies Are Female
Women make up a full 50 percent of moviegoers, but only 28.1 percent of characters in the top 100 movies of 2014 were female. And more than a quarter of those roles involved nudity, compared to 9.1 percent of male roles.
Women and Girls Account for 80 Percent of the Victims of Human Trafficking
Estimates put the number of victims of human trafficking and forced labor anywhere from 20 million to 30 million.
15 Million Girls Each Year Get Married Before They’re 18
Many of these are child brides. Marriage before 18 puts girls at a higher risk of contracting HIV or other STDs, experiencing domestic violence, and dying in childbirth.