Tomorrow, March 8, is International Women’s Day, a good time to take stock of how far we women have come. But wait—what do you mean we’re headed backwards? Laura Liswood with the World Economic Forum points out in an article that worldwide, women’s funding for reproductive health has been reduced, and family planning is harder to come by.
There is also a glaring “under-representation of women and minorities in US cabinet-level positions.” Pale male EconoMan rules Washington’s swamp these days. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/womens-rights-sexual-equality-in-revers
In Russia, Liswood reports, the Duma just voted 380 to 3 for decriminalizing domestic violence, so long as it doesn’t cause “substantial bodily harm,” and occurs less than once a year. Seriously?!
According to The New York Times, most in the US agree this is a better time to be a man than a woman in our society—except for Republican men. They say it’s a better to be a woman than a man, despite evidence to the contrary. No doubt, they also believe they do their fair share of housework.
Most disturbing though was Liswood’s report on women’s voting patterns. In France, women are backing Marie LePen and her far-right nationalism, on a par with Trump here in the US. Let’s not forget that 53 percent of white women voted for Trump. Is it fear and greater job insecurity? Is it threats of nuclear holocaust cause women to hope for a strong man?
But 53 percent is still a minority of our sex, especially when you add in our savvy African American sisters. And here’s a salute to Tanya Plibersek, who is running as “minister for women” in Australia. She promised if elected her Labor party would re-establish the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ time use survey, which hasn’t been done there since 2006. Time use is an important measure of the value of unpaid work and gender inequity in household work. In 1997, Australia’s unpaid work was valued at $261 billions or almost half of Australia’s GDP that year.
Seeing what is typically invisible helps informs policy affecting parental leave, childcare, transport, education and workforce participation. Women’s groups in Australia have long argued for the survey’s re-establishment, and Plibersek put it simply: “[T]he Australian economy [and] Australian society rests upon women’s unpaid work.” US women could do a great deal more with time studies here.