Why are women demonstrating on March 8? Many people ask this question. Some say that in the XXI century and in our country discrimination against women does not exist or is anecdotal. They also argue that feminist pretensions suggest that women are weak and need more protection, even though we live in an age when women could not be better off.
On the other hand, there are those who do defend the demonstration, saying that there is still much to do in terms of real equality between men and women. The latter speak of the wage gap, sexist murders, the glass ceiling, the fear that women feel when walking alone on the street, the invisibility of women in science and many other issues.
All opinions are valid, but they are only opinions, without data to support them. Therefore, in this article we are going to try to look at reality with data to see if, on March 8, women really have reasons to go out on the streets.
“Feminism: principle of equal rights for women and men.”
-Real academy of the Spanish language-
The pay gap in data
The wage gap that differentiates the remuneration that a man and a woman receive for the same job is based on two reasons:
- Although they belong to the same professional category and, therefore, according to the agreement they must receive the same salary, men are paid different salary supplements outside of the base salary that indirectly increase their salary, as we can read in the example of this link.
- Women reduce their working hours more frequently than men because they are in charge of taking care of the family. This care can be for parents, children or any other dependent family member, which means that their salaries and their possibilities of advancement in the professional career are lower than in men.
“Women in Europe continue to earn an average of 16.3% less than men. The pay gap between men and women has not narrowed in recent years and is largely due to the fact that women tend to have a lower level of employment and in lower-paid sectors, opt for fewer promotions, interrupt their professional careers more and they do more unpaid jobs ”.
-Report of the European Commission of November 20, 2017-
Women in science
When we speak of women in science, we refer to women as educational and historical referents of our children. It consists of stopping to analyze their history, science, chemistry, physics, mathematics or literature books looking for any female reference.
The result of this analysis is alarming: women only exist as mere historical accompaniments of male figures. Women are nothing more than an appendage, a support of the man in his achievements. In the study ESO: a genealogy of hidden knowledge carried out by the UNED a more complete development of this idea appears.
Another way to observe it is by trying to evoke referents in culture or science with a woman’s name. Many are those who know Nelson Mandela and fewer who know Rosa Parks ; We know Thomas Edison, but few of us are familiar with Beulah Louise Henry, when they are just as important in their areas of knowledge.
The criminalization of maternity in the world of work and the glass ceiling
According to a study carried out by the Caixa Social Observatory called Do women have fewer opportunities to be hired? , prepared by researchers at Pompeu Fabra University, women have 30% less chance of accessing a job interview under equal conditions than men. In other words, with the same curriculum, those who had interviews and were offered better working conditions were men.
This gap is also accentuated when there are children, since according to this study a woman with offspring is 35.9% less likely to receive a call for a job interview than a man with the same characteristics. This is so because we are the ones who dedicate ourselves to family care and the man simply “helps” is not ultimately responsible for the care.
But this is not all, according to a study done with the Swedish population, entitled Does the gender composition in Couples matter for the division of labor after childbirth? the wage gap that arises with motherhood in lesbian couples, one of whom was the biological mother, disappears at 5 years, something that does not occur with heterosexual couples.
The study clarifies that this gap disappears in homosexual couples due to the equitable distribution of child rearing between both members.
Last but not least, we find sexist violence. The gender violence is so named because the victims are always women and are simply because they are women. In Spain, since 2003 when murders due to this type of violence began to be counted, more than 800 women have died.
According to an article titled Violence Against Women: A Structural View , violence against women is a strategy to maintain patriarchal power and a way to prevent women from moving from the place of inequality that they have traditionally occupied. For this reason, it is comparatively more legitimized than male violence and this legitimation is expressed in the legal and criminal codes, which are a crystallization of the values of the society in which they are formulated.
After reading all this, do you think that we do not have enough reasons to speak out in favor of feminism? What is your opinion?