Reported at the International Trade Union Conference, women are paid 18% less than men worldwide for the same work. Taken from the report: “…..in the United States the statistics are bleak: Male workers age 30 or younger who have a middle level education make 48 percent more than women, and male workers age 30 or younger with a high level of education earn 37 percent more than women with the same high education levels.” I have talked about the gender wage gap many times before. Thus, I am unhappily not alone.
The ITUC’s solution is unionization, which I think has been shown to be no solution at all. However, shining a light on this crippling problem for the economic advancement of our world is good. Nonetheless I was discouraged.
Then we celebrated International Women’s Day. I thought it was a good sign that it coincided with the celebration of Purim, when a woman, Queen Esther, saved the Persian Jews. Women and their causes were being discussed.
And then I received an important email. A letter from Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen. “What a Difference a Week Can Make.” A joint proposal by the President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and the Secretary-General of the United Nations H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, that the Fifth World Conference on the Status of Women should be convened in 2015! This is major.
Now it is up to us to help the member states of the general assembly make this happen. You can help by signing the petition or talking to any heads of government that you may know.
Women make up half the world’s population, and whether you come from an industrialized nation or an emerging economy, being a woman continues to be a hardship. Increasing terrorism, the expanding slave trade, religious radicalism, the changing climate with water and food shortages, and many other economic, social and political issues are worthy of consideration and action that a 5WCW can bring about.
I am no Pollyanna. I do not believe that meetings or resolutions are going to change the world. What I do believe is that the more we articulate the issues and the more people who become invested in the issues that affect us all, the greater the chance for change. Everyone has a role. Sometimes the changes are not what we wish, but if we are not there at the table, we cannot have our chance to influence.
Figure out your role, whether it be in the public or the private sphere. And for those of you who love to meet other exciting women who are movers and shakers, I hope to see you at 5WCW. Now where did I put the email and phone number for the US representative to the UN General Assembly?