‘Like millions of women and men, I feel hugely inspired by the development of the #MeToo, Time’s Up and Women’s March movements. I am proud to call myself a feminist and stand in solidarity with everyone who understands the vital need for change in attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls. The feminist movement is a broad church with different interpretations, opinions and ideas. Feminism needs to be relevant, appreciated and respected especially where the needs are greatest —in countries where women and girls are not even near the lowest rung of the ladder in terms of being able to realise the most fundamental of human rights.
I identify myself as a “Global Feminist” to describe where I’m coming from. I believe in equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available for every woman and girl in every corner of the world.’
– Annie Lennox, Founder of The Circle
The Global Feminism campaign was started by Annie Lennox to ensure a better understanding of global inequality, to create a new wave of inclusive feminism. Global Feminists believe in the ‘equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available to every woman and girl in every corner of the world’.
To find out more, view our Global Feminism presentation here
Why women and girls?
Around the world, women are worse positioned in social, economic and political hierarchies. Women everywhere are more likely to experience sexual and domestic violence and less likely to influence decisions that affect their lives. Gender instersects with race, ethnicity, class, income, sexual orientation and disability, meaning that not all women experience gender inequality in the same way and to the same degree.
Poverty has a female face. Women are more likely than men to be poor. While both men and women suffer in poverty, gender discrimination means that women have far fewer resources to cope. They are likely to be the last to eat, the ones least likely to access healthcare, and routinely trapped in time-consuming, unpaid domestic tasks. They have more limited options to work or build businesses. Adequate education may lie out of reach. Some end up forced into sexual exploitation as part of a basic struggle to survive. In addition to this, women’s organisations and services are woefully underfunded.
- Women remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation, with more than half (50.4%) of working women in vulnerable employment.
- It will take another 118 years – or until 2133 – until the global pay gap between men and women is finally closed.
- Globally women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60-75% of men’s wages.
- Men own and manage just under 70% of all businesses and women sit on only 19% of board seats globally.
- Only 22 per cent of all national parliamentarians are female.
- Two thirds of the 780 million people in the world who cannot read are women.
- In Africa, 28 million girls are not in education and will never step inside a classroom.
- At least one in three women around the world have been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in their lifetime.
- It is estimated that, worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
- Approximately 15 million adolescent girls worldwide have experienced forced sex at some point in their life.
- 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not considered a crime.
- 71% of human trafficking victims are women and girls.
- Globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM. In most of these countries, the majority of girls were cut before the age of 5. In some countries, this happens to up to 98% of girls.
- Between 1.5 million and 3 million girls and women die each year because of gender-based violence.
- Violence against women during or after armed conflicts has been reported in every international or non-international war-zone.
- Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.
- It is estimated that there are 650 million women and girls in the world today who were married before age 18. Across the world 39,000 girls become child brides every day.
- 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, with women dying of pregnancy-related causes at the rate of one a minute.
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