Born in the 1960’s in Kingston, Jamaica to a single, politically active woman and raised by her for the first 16 years of my life before I left home, my awareness of women’s issues has always been very acute.
Throughout the years, my active involvement in women’s rights issues has risen and fallen to various degrees, depending on my places of residence, whether my focus was intently on studies, the circumstances of my life, etc. What has never wavered is my deep-seated desire, no demand that women everywhere be treated equally, fairly, and respectfully with the full support of the particular country’s laws.
Still Less Than
Since my birth, much has changed for women around the world but little has changed in one of the most fundamental issues for women and by extension their children’s survival – equal pay. In most countries around the world, women still earn less than men. According to all the reports that have come across my screen – most of my reading these days happen on a smart phone app or my laptop – women are earning it seems an average of 60 – 70% of each $1.00 that a man earns.
A report from Catalyst on Women’s Earnings and Income earlier this year indicates that although “Women have come a long way but are still not at parity. Women will need to work more than 70 additional days each year to catch up to men.” It went on to say that at the current rate of change, it would take 45 years (2058) before we are caught up to men. Read the full report here but seeing as the “boys” always look out for each other, if we women do not continue this march for equal pay – we will never catch up.
Being a grandmother now of a beautiful one-year old girl who is already showing her curiosity, intelligence, keen interest in learning and copying everything she sees and hears, I have bought a new pair of marching shoes. Reading reports such as these have much to do with my interest in making sure that this change do come and that women finally get their fair cut of the proverbial pie – not in 45 years – but by the time my Kitten steps out into the workforce.
Every Woman, Everywhere Must Be Paid Equally
Yesterday was declared “Clock Out” Day for black women by an equal pay advocacy group. It got traction mainly on Twitter with many posting selfies supposedly punching out at 2:07 p.m. The position of the Atlanta-based group leading this symbolic clocking out is that it takes black women 19 hours of work in the United States to make what a white man would in 12 months. For me, as a black woman, this experience of inequity is real here in Canada as well, not only between white men and myself but generally with white men, white women, citizens versus recent immigrant, lesser educated/qualified white men and women.
Yet, the pay gap is more than a black/white issue. It is a humanity issue and so while I loudly applaud that show of frustration yesterday, the march must be joined by women of all stripes and colour, from all countries and in every corner of the world.
I will do my part through this blog and physically joining the march when it comes to my city. You can too – whether you are woman or man who understands the issue and what is at stake. Make no doubt about it, men are affected by this inequity as their spouses’ pay cheque is much needed to support the family these days. Imagine a family of say four in which both parents are bringing in the same amount of money each month instead of the mother earning about 30% less than the father for the same job – or two jobs?
This week so far, our attention has largely been on issues affecting young women, with our Monday Motivation tips to those in their 20’s was on how to unstuck their careers. We continued this focus with my post on “Lean In or Living Out,” as well as Tuesday’s wellness post discussing the top health fear of women in their 20’s. Today, we continue that spotlighting of 20-something issues with Katelyn’s new post on “20 Year Olds: Start Prepping For The Big M.”
All these posts, along with our last installment later this afternoon of “The Unfortunate Life of An Interesting Woman” by Alexis Ali, were written with the future of our world in mind. Young women today will either be very much a part of the solution or still deeply mired in the problems. My hope is that it will be the former and so we march on.
Do Subscribe and join us. For your subscription, you will receive daily updates as well as my monthly newsletter and affirmation poster that, as of August, will only be available to those marching with us. If you are interested to make a change, to live exactly as how you see fit without shame or guilt then do also sign up for my courses that will start in August at the Spirituality Centre at Learn It Live.
Have a Wonderful Wednesday and see you on the road!