It’s International Women’s Day. What Will You Do to Make a Difference?

Nine girls wave to the camera (State Dept.)
(State Dept.)

Happy International Women’s Day! For more than 100 years, countries around the world have used March to celebrate women’s contributions to world economies, societies and governments.

While that century has seen remarkable progress, with women now working in the highest ranks of business, politics and education, the rights and opportunities for women worldwide still fall short of those for men.

For the last 10 years, the World Economic Forum has measured the global gender gap to demonstrate how the disparities between men and women have damaged global economic growth. Their most recent report highlights the work still to be done:

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 In 2015, there were a quarter of a billion more women in the global workforce than in 2006. However, while the average yearly earning for men has risen from $11,000 to $21,000 in that time, the average earning for women has gone from $6,000 to only $11,000.

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 The political realm has seen the most progress for women. Fifty percent of countries have had a female head of state. Yet women still lag behind in legislative bodies around the world, representing only 18 to 19 percent of parliaments and government ministers.

The World Economic Forum estimates that at the rate of progress it’s measured in the last 10 years, economic parity for women will not be achieved until 2133.

What will you do to speed that progress? As a member of the YALI Network, you can mark International Women’s Day by helping bring gender equality to the YALI Network by inviting 5 women to join this exciting group of young leaders.

How will you invest in women and girls? Go to yali.state.gov/pledge to make your pledge.

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