Wishing a very Happy International Women’s Day to all the women of the world. As a professional woman, it is my absolute dream to have women be viewed as equals, not only in the United States, but also in all the countries of the world. Over the years, women have become stronger and more outspoken. No longer is a woman going to allow injustice to be done against her gender. More and more women are getting an education and pervading every field possible. Personally, I had wonderful female role models in my Mom and sister. My mom is a pillar of strength and is the reason I have achieved all that I have. She stressed the need to be a good human being, the importance of being honest in life, and to always continue to learn. My sister too is an excellent role model and showed me the significance of academic prowess.
“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Here in the United States, women are generally considered equals, but there remains work to be done. For example, there is still a gender gap as applied to salaries for women. An AAUW study (see here) revealed that there has not been a narrowing of the pay gap. Among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid only 77 percent to 78 percent of what their male counterparts were paid (see here). That is significant. In the field of law, a study by the ABA (see here) revealed a major discrepancy in the salaries of women lawyers vs. male lawyers. A survey conducted by the National Association of Women Lawyers revealed that only 16% of equity partners at major law firms are women. Furthermore, these women earn almost $90,000 less than their male counterparts! At firms that have higher billable-hour requirements, this pay gap is even wider with women equity partners earning approximately $140,000 less than males!
“There is no Fate that plans men’s lives. Whatever comes to us, good or bad, is usually the result of our own action or lack of action.” – Herbert N. Casson
Besides fighting for economic equality, women are fighting to prevent crimes against women. Here in the west, we tend to think of crimes against women to be predominantly an issue affecting eastern cultures. Unfortunately, domestic violence against women and rape against women are both very prevalent crimes in our own society. According to Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN.org), every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. It is important for women to be familiar with the laws in her state regarding rape (see here for CT). According to a 2003 study done by Violence Against Women Prevention Research, “…one out of every eight adult women, or about 178,000 adult women in Connecticut, has been the victim of forcible rape sometime in her lifetime.” (see here).
“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” — Coco Chanel
For the position of women to change in the world, it is important that the men in the world are educated about the equality of women, are taught that women are to be respected, and do not try to lower her position. From a young age, schools should teach the importance of respecting women and reinforce women’s rights. Colleges should also tighten their laws regarding rapes on campus and take stronger steps to prevent rape.
So, this Women’s Day, I smile at the progress women have made, but I look to our future with the hope that my smile will grow wider as women will no longer be the subject of violence and be treated as 100% equals in all aspects of life.