The Condition of Women Today

March 8th is celebrated around the world as International Women’s Day. It began in the United States but is now a day celebrated throughout the world to recognize the role women have played in history and to draw awareness to the situation of women. Despite the gains women have achieved in society, they still remain underpaid in the workplace, are overburdened with childcare and housework, and face discrimination and abuse on a daily basis. Here’s a look at the reality women face in our world today:

Sexual Violence

  • Over 12 percent of women in the Congo have been raped¾that is 48 women every hour.
  • In the US: one out of every three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, one out of five women have been raped in their lives, and one in four women have been the victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read. On average a woman is raped every 17 seconds in South Africa. While in the US, a woman is raped every two minutes.
  • Between 2001 and 2009, 95,000 women have been raped in the ongoing conflict in Colombia.

Domestic Violence

  • Domestic violence has killed 34 women in Minnesota in 2011, one woman every five days in Spain, and 10,000 women in Mexico over the past ten years.
  • In 2010, 8,391 dowry death cases were reported in India, meaning a bride was burned every 90 minutes.
  • Thousands of acid attacks occur every year in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India among others¾70 percent of the victims are women and girls.

Trafficking and Slavery

  • There are over 32 million people enslaved around the world in fields, factories, brothels and homes, where they are exploited for sex or labor¾74 percent of them are women and girls.
  • More than two million women and children are sold into the sex trade every year.
  • Eighty-three percent of all sex trafficking in the US is of girls, a majority of whom are 17 or under.

Exploitation at Home, Exploitation in the Workplace

  • Today, women worldwide are paid 10 to 30 percent less than men for the same work.
  • In the US, women are paid 20 percent less on average than men.
  • In a review of 126 countries, in more than a third, women are prohibited from working in the same industries as men.
  • In rural Malawi women spend over eight times more than men on the same domestic chores.
  • Women in Sub-Saharan Africa spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water.
  • In the US, married women without children do 17 hours of housework a week while men do 7 hours.