International Women's Day

International Women's Day

International Women's DayToday is International Women's Day and there's both much to celebrate and plenty of work left to do. For instance, a new report by the Canadian Labour Congress shows “women are still getting paid less than men, regardless of talent, education or experience.” According to the report women working full-time in 2005 earned an average of $39,200 compared with $55,700 for men.

Violence against women and girls continues to remain an enormous problem worldwide. Amnesty International's new report Safe Schools: Every Girl's Right documents violence against girls in schools across the planet.

The World Health Organization found that school is the most common place where sexual harassment and coercion are experienced. Recent research has revealed that Canada is no exception and in the U.S. 83% of public school girls in grades 8 to 11 have experienced some form of sexual harassment. Psychological, physical and sexual violence committed against girls at school is common globally. “In war zones, the dangers increase, with girls being seized by armed groups or injured or killed on the road or when their school is attacked. Sexual abuse and exploitation of girls are common in refugee or displaced persons camps.”

Amnesty International is calling on “governments and school officials around the world to take concrete action to end violence against girls, particularly inside schools.” You can help by informing your elected and school officials that this is an important issue to you. In Canada you can also support women in general by signing Oxfam's petition to Prime Minister Harper, urging him to support gender equality and an end to violence against women.

International Women's Day events are listed by country here.
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