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Friday, 9 March 2012

Happy Belated International Women's Day

I know I'm a bit late, but I just wanted to say Happy International Women's Day... why? I don't know. I honestly don't see the point in an 'awareness' day that is supposed to promote equality when the fact that the day exists is truly unequal. Why? Where is International Men's Day? Don't get me wrong, I support Women's rights, but I think it's a bit backwards of the cause to have a day dedicated to women and not men if the ultimate goal is equality. Furthermore, while I think that awareness about a cause is a great thing, what about action?

And it is obvious that action is still required. Still, in 2012, women are paid less than their male counterparts for the same position. You can read more about the Gender Pay Gap (Ontario-specific) here. Despite the fact that it's actually against federal law for women to be paid less than men, it still happens.

The article linked above cites the following reasons for the pay gap:

  • women choosing or needing to leave and re-enter the workforce in order to meet family care-giving responsibilities, resulting in a loss of seniority, advancement opportunities and wages
  • occupational segregation in historically undervalued and low-paying jobs, such as childcare and clerical work
  • traditionally lower levels of education (although this is becoming less of a factor as more and more women graduate from all levels of education)
  • less unionization amongst female workers
  • discrimination in hiring, promotion and compensation practices in the workplace
I have personally experienced the last billet on this list. Living in Oil and Gas country, many of the 'decent paying' jobs are male-oriented, and it is very difficult for women to be hired into any of the industries. Women are hired, but usually for trade-specific or office jobs. I have personally been turned down by companies, or offered wages less than male counterparts of the same qualifications by companies in the area.

Overall, it's disheartening to think that the world is celebrating how far we've come with this inherently unequal awareness day for women when the facts are we still have such a long, long way to go.


  1. Your points are excellent and they are why International Women's Day exist!

    Men have their day and cake and eat it too all the time! Your facts point this out.

    Hidden All-Male Club exist all around the world. The Male Club assumption is so well accepted it doesn't need an official Men's Day, Alleyana!

    Sad but True.

    1. Hey, I never thought about that, and it is an excellent point. However, if we think about that then we also need to think about all of the Women's Clubs, however stereotyped they are (ie, sewing groups, etc.)

      However, these clubs are not usually official.