By Nadeya Hussain –
In celebration of International Women’s Day, this year’s theme is ‘Break the Bias.’ The aim is to raise awareness about bias and celebrate women’s achievements. To achieve equality, we should strive to create a world free from prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. We are at the beginning of a gender-equal world where we #BreakTheBias.
The timeline below provides a quick overview of women’s progress throughout history. This acts as a reminder of how far we have come towards gender equality.
- 1872: Victoria Woodhull, a women’s rights and suffrage activist, became the first woman to run for president. She was the nominee of the Equal Rights Party.
- 1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing country to grant national voting rights to women spurred by the work of New Zealand Suffragist, Kate Sheppard.
- 1895: South Australia gives women the right to vote in national elections
- 1902: Marie Curie became the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize
- 1908: 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
- 1911: Riachō Hiratsuka co-founded Japan’s first all-women-run literary journal, which was used as a platform for women’s equality issues.
- 1916: Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives.
- 1920: The U.S women’s suffrage movement came to a head with the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in all fifty states.
- 1928: UK’s Equal Franchise Act 1928 ensures equal franchise. Women now had the same voting rights as men.
- 1951: Doria Shafik and 1,500 women marched to the Egyptian parliament to demand full political rights such as pay equality, they helped pave the way for future legal reformation.
- 1955: Black seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a bus. The move helps launch the civil rights movement
- 1960: The FDA approved the first commercially produced birth control pill globally, allowing women to control when and if they have children.
- 1963: President John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act into law, prohibiting sex-based wage discrimination between men and women performing the same job in the same workplace.
- 1963 First Woman, Valentina Tereshkova, travels in space
- 1964: Patsy Mink became the first woman of colour and the first Asian American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
- 1973: Billie Jean King famously threatened to boycott the U.S. Open in 1973 unless women were given equal prize money. Her victory changed women’s tennis
- 1974: Revision of the Married Women’s Property Act allowed women to own money they earned and inherit property.
- 1975 – The first world conference on the status of women was convened in Mexico City, Mexico. It was the first-ever UN conference to focus solely on women.
- 1975 – Sex Discrimination Act
- 1979 – CEDAW (the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) was adopted in 1979 and entered into force in 1981.
- 1980: The first democratically-elected female president takes office in Iceland and held the presidency for 16 years
- 1994: Clinton signs the Violence Against Women Act as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.
- 2008: Rwanda becomes the first country to have a female majority of parliamentary seats (56%)
Work to be done
There are many more progressions that we could add to this list. There is no doubt that advances have been made around the world for women, but we also must acknowledge that many women still face tremendous barriers throughout their lives, and there is still progress to be made. As we celebrate the 8th of March and all the accomplishments, we must remember that there remains so much work to be done in terms of progress. Following are a few points to illustrate where this needs to be addressed:
- Only 22% of the 180 top editors across the 240 brands covered are women
- Women make up just 24.9 percent of parliamentarians worldwide & only three countries have 50% or more women in parliament.
- In 2021, 26% of all CEOs and managing directors were women, compared to only 15% in 2019.
- Around the world, 129 million girls are out of school. Only 49 percent of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education.
Once again, these are a few points. Join us here at Kirklees Local TV and share your #BreakTheBias image on Twitter!
Make sure you tag us @KirkleesLocalTV so we can help break the bias and encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world. #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias