International Women's Day 2010 |

International Women's Day 2010

Have your say on Reuters about what women's day means to you

  • IWD has become a source of revenue to some women groups co-ordinators. they obigate women to buy wrappers and other accessories at exhorbitant prices as a condition to participate in IWD activities
  • Here is New York at 'Beijing + 15' women have rallied from their fury about the long wait to register, at the difficulty in any meaningful participation and a sense of exclusion, futility and alienation from what is always a crowded and confusing event but one that can also be very satisfying. The UN decided to celebrate IWD already in Wednesday because any Ministers around would have left or be leaving and many,many of us NGOs are also here only for the furst week. The Secretary General who is a genuine friend of women's equality and others made good speeches but, as before, NGOs on the floor of the conference room - no. I had a fascinating morning at the Task Force on Disability at the UJAFed of New York and in addiiton to talking about Inclusion for people with leanirng disability and mental illness needs, explained what the Commission on the Status of Women was!
    by Annette Lawson edited by women_on_iwd 3/5/2010 2:22:05 PM
  • Women's day in some countries is a source of income to the big fishes at the detriment of the poor majority. wrappers are sold at exhorbitant prices, caps sold and types changed annually by cordinators of women groups.
  • @IndianMaasai That's great. Glad you enjoyed it.
  • That photo is by Finbarr O'Reilly. It is an actress from the Dseu Renaissance de Pikine theater group wearing traditional Toukouleur make up and chewing a stick toothbrush waits for rehearsal to begin at a local community center at the slum neighbourhood of Pikine in Senegal's capital Dakar, November 7, 2009.
  • Annette Lawson, chair of National Alliance of Women’s Organisations on Beijing +15
  • will be publishing themed blog posts and links on Monday to mark International Women's Day, highlighting experiences and exploring thoughts about women in journalism and media. More details here:
    Any interested journalists/bloggers please get in touch!
  • From Christina Pantin: Yes, it's interesting about setting quotas for a certain number of women in senior jobs...I've heard that it takes a tipping point of a certain percentage of any minority group before there's an impact on the bigger organisation. But to be truly successful, I think that we still need to judge primarily on merit, or these efforts, while well intentioned, will fail.
  • From Christina Pantin - Handing over the anchoring from Singapore to Manju Dalal. Please contribute your comments! And a final question...what's the most inspiring/motivational comments you ever received related to being a woman? For me, (while it sounds little bit negative too), these came from my mother, who told 3 of her daughters when we were very young: "You have 2 strikes against you, you're females and you're Chinese. You will need to try harder." A little harsh but also the spur for me and my sisters to push ourselves. We succeeded. Have a great IWD.
  • From Manju Dalal: Thanks Christina... For many of us our mothers are our mother was always taunted for giving birth to three daughters (and yes a son too!) ...despite all odds she ensured every one of us had the best possible education...& today these three sisters are in far superior places and are proud that they had a mother who had a vision for them!
  • @Women_on_IWD Ha...encouraging words, indeed.
  • Any suggestions/ideas to empower women?
  • When I was writing for an accountancy magazine, I remember interviewing a researcher who had conducted a study into discrimination against women in the industry. She found that the shortage of women in top jobs came about because they didn't want the jobs, not because they were applying and being blocked. I suppose it could be worth looking into why women don't want those top level jobs.
  • I suppose women always make the mistake of comparing and then choosing responsibilities at home over work! That is how they are trained to behave...
  • Though a bit old but this may be true for most nations: A survey in America in 2008 found out that "A woman who has never married compared to a man who has never married" suffers the least from the gender pay gap.
  • Mind the gender gap
    Hong Kong women have made strides towards equality, but many are still underutilised and undervalued

    Su-Mei Thompson
    Mar 08, 2010

    There is a common perception that women in Hong Kong have already achieved full equality or are on the cusp of doing so. While it is true that advances have been made in recent times - women are more educated, earn more and have more legal protections than before - our research shows that significant gaps remain. Sadly, women remain undervalued and underutilised across many parts of Hong Kong society.
    Hong Kong's university graduates are 56 per cent female, and women make up 47 per cent of the labour force. However, in 2008, women comprised just 18 per cent of legislators, 29 per cent of managers, 5 per cent of doctors of consultant rank and 9 per cent of university professors. The situation is disappointing given that, in 1997, Hong Kong committed itself to gender equality by signing the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which calls for 50 per cent representation of women in leadership positions in governments, political parties, trade unions and professional and other representative groups. Despite this, the leadership potential of women remains largely untapped. Much more must be done.
    In our research, women cited family-unfriendly workplace policies and practices as a major reason for keeping them from staying or advancing in the workplace. Women also chafe at the strict gender roles they are forced to navigate, and yearn for more recognition of the range of skills and leadership styles that women can offer. Gender stereotyping is pervasive in all aspects of life, especially education and the media, and is constraining women and girls from making braver choices about their lives and careers. Research conducted by the Women's Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission shows that children in Hong Kong are profoundly influenced by gender stereotyping: it affects their choice of school subjects, careers and - worse - their self-esteem.
    But a gender gap in leadership is only where the problems begin. Gender inequalities are manifest in many other areas within the social fabric of Hong Kong. For example, the rich-poor divide has thrown a spotlight on what is called the feminisation of poverty. Women are particularly vulnerable because of limited numeracy and literacy skills and their role as care-givers for children and the elderly, which forces them into piecemeal lower-status and lower-paid jobs, if they are able to find work at all.
    The Hong Kong Council of Social Service reported that the number of females living in poverty increased from 485,000 in 1996 to 635,000 in 2008. Our own research from 2006 shows that poverty is rising faster among women than men, paving the way for yet another generation of poor, middle-aged and elderly women. Domestic violence is also rising: the number of newly reported battered spouse cases rose from 3,598 in 2005 to 6,843 in 2008, and women comprised over 80 per cent of the victims, according to government figures.
    Our prescription for the current situation endorses the need for all segments of the community to address the gender gap. If female poverty is to be addressed, Hong Kong needs concurrent measures to improve educational and skill levels, create job opportunities and increase available childcare options. The government needs to conduct gender impact assessments, to identify potential discrimination and gender blind spots in the planning and implementation of its policies and legislation. We must address stereotyping and rigid gender role modelling in education and in the family, and government and business need to actively support diversity and family-friendly work policies. Continued investment in data collection and research is imperative, to better understand the status of women and girls.
    Finally, policy and decision makers, educators and journalists alike need to be trained to understand the value of diversity and the risk to the economy if Hong Kong fails to emphasise the need for women to have equal access to education and jobs.
    Indeed, it seems extraordinary that Hong Kong should be so complacent about the issue of gender equality when there is a global impetus for greater female representation in everything from business to politics, education to health. At the same time, a stream of research is emerging which asserts that businesses and governments ignore the power of the purse and half their talent pool at their peril.
    We hope International Women's Day, today, will serve as a rallying call for the women's movement in Hong Kong harking back to the heroic efforts of various women's groups in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. They resulted in substantial legislative and policy reforms: concubinage was abolished, marriage laws were reformed, maternity leave benefits and equal pay and inheritance rights were introduced, the Sex Discrimination Ordinance was passed and the Equal Opportunities Commission established in 1995, and the Women's Commission created in 2001.
    The women's movement in Hong Kong seemed to lose some of its earlier energy after 1997, and fractured into a patchwork of groups. While this has allowed more voices to be heard and a wider spectrum of goals to be pursued, the time has come for women's groups to reunite to tackle the large gaps that remain to be addressed.
    We hope the increasing numbers of Hong Kong women across all social echelons becoming active in women's organisations will lead the women's movement into a new and powerful incarnation, resulting ultimately in equal rights and equal access for all.
    (Su-Mei Thompson is the executive director of The Women's Foundation, which promotes the advancement of women through research, community programmes and education and advocacy)
    by Su-Mei Thompson (Executive Director of The Women's Foundation) 3/8/2010 3:19:23 AM
  • I want to open up my individual initiative to all women of India world wide. And to friends of women of India everywhere. Women's Day is not just for women it is for every person to acknowledge and pay tribute to a woman in theirlife that has made a difference to them. Here is a tribute to my mother without her I would not be doing what I do today.
  • @Women_on_IWD Bangalore: I walked in the Pinnacle office and saw two HR Male colleagues placing a beautiful card and a rose at desk of each female HR Colleague! The card is a lovely one that says ' You've got everything to take the world in your stride'! Its got pictures of all HR female colleagues inside! A lovely gesture from the 'Gentlemen of Bangalore HR' team, indeed! :)
  • @Harriet Vidyasagar great intiative! interesting website
  • In India, on the surface we call women names like 'Devi' Godness etc that takes away their human ness. To make a change in India we must begin with children at the primary school level so that in 20 years time we have adults with a new mind set and a healthy attitude towards women.
  • The picture with the women in uniform is one of the many pictures on the slideshow
  • What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you see the picture?
  • @Ritu Narang Very nice of the men to be so considerate. I'm still waiting for my share of flowers. lol..sheeba..
  • Día de Internacional de la Mujer 2010: celebramos juntas nuestra libertad de opción.
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