Bleats

Out of 129 Countries, Just Guess How Many Are On Track For Gender Equality By 2030

Spoiler: it's bad.

According to one of the world’s most depressing indices, not a single country is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030.

The SDG Gender Index, developed by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership, measures progress against a set of internationally agreed-upon targets, which 193 countries signed up to in 2015.

The Sustainable Development Goals are considered the “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”, and they seek to address issues like gender inequality, climate, poverty, environmental degradation, and peace and justice.

Gender Equality is the fifth goal, and it includes targets like eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls, ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, and recognising and valuing unpaid and domestic care work through the provision of public services.

Gender equality is included in several of the other goals as well, however, such as the first, eliminating poverty, as women are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the eighth, economic growth, as wage inequality continues to be an issue across the majority of industries.

According to the report, nearly 40% (or 1.4 billion) of the world’s women and girls live in countries that are failing them when it comes to gender equality, and Another 1.4 billion women and girls live in countries that “barely pass”. Even in places like Scandinavia, that score quite high on the index, huge changes would need to be undertaken to achieve gender equality in the next eleven years.

Only 21 countries achieved scores of 80 or above, meaning no country achieved an ‘excellent’ score. Australia achieved a mark of 85.2, the highest in the Asia Pacific region. (New Zealand was only .1 of a point behind us, at 85.1.)

The ten highest-scoring countries are:

  1. Denmark
  2. Finland
  3. Sweden
  4. Norway
  5. Netherlands
  6. Slovenia
  7. Germany
  8. Canada
  9. Ireland
  10. Australia

The report notes that the United States and Switzerland, among others, have lower scores than would be expected based on their GDP per capita.

Melinda Gates said that the report should “serve as a wake-up call to the world”, but given how many world leaders have ignored all the previous wake-up calls about everything from sexism to climate change, I’m not holding my breath.

The sooner we appoint Greta Thunberg leader of the free world, the sooner we can kill several of those birds with one stone, tbh.

The Country Women's Association Is Taking On Those Sexist Campervans And We're Totally Here For It

Sisters are doing it for themselves.

One branch of the Country Women’s Association, the group best known for their baked goods, has taken it upon themselves to combat the sexist slogans that can often be found emblazoned on the side of Wicked Campers around the country.

According to The Guardian, two CWA members from Kyogle, in northern NSW, “painted over an offensive slogan on a van that encouraged sexual violence”.

The Bangalow CWA branch president, Di Campbell, told The Guardian: 

“Two of them went to the hardware shop and took direct action. Enough is enough. For us on the north coast we see a lot of these awful vans.”

Pictured: the ladies of the CWA getting ready to give those sexist slogans what for.

The Bangalow branch had previously successfully put up a motion at the CWA conference to ban the vans from Australian roads.

In 2016, Byron Bay council outlawed the vans, but according to The Daily Telegraph and the fact that a push to ban the vans was reignited last year, it’s been a difficult ban to enforce.

The Queensland-based company was founded in 2000 and has gained notoriety as a result of its vans, decorated in a graffiti-style and often sporting sexist and racist slogans on the sides or the back.

Now, we’re not endorsing vigilantism or defacement of property, but it is pretty great to see the women of the CWA fight back against these obnoxious vans.

The US Women's Soccer Team Is Suing US Soccer For Equal Pay And Better Working Conditions

Happy day-after-international-women's-day!

The U.S. women’s soccer team have ramped up their fight for equal pay by filing a gender discrimination lawsuit against their employer on Friday, which also happened to be International Women’s Day.

In the suit, filed in the Los Angeles’ District Court and which names the United States Soccer Federation as the defendant, the 28 players describe “institutionalized gender discrimination” that has existed for years. It focuses on the disparity between how much the women’s team is paid compared to the US men’s soccer team.

According to the suit, top female players can expect to earn just 38% of what a similarly-ranked male player would earn. In raw numbers, this means that when the women won the 2015 World Cup, they were paid $1.725 million in bonuses, but in 2014, when the men’s team only reached round 16 of the World Cup, they were paid $5.375 million in bonuses.

So basically, the men received over three times more for losing than the women did for winning. Okay then.

In addition, the suit argues that this discrimination affects everything from the player’s salaries to “where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches.”

The players involved in the suit include some of the biggest names in women’s sport, including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and all 25 of their teammates.

Talking to The New York Times, Rapinoe said:

“I think to be on this team is to understand these issues. And I think we’ve always — dating back to forever — been a team that stood up for itself and fought hard for what it felt it deserved and tried to leave the game in a better place.”

And in a statement to the Associated Press, Megan Rapinoe said that the team was proud to wear the United States jersey, but that there is a responsibility that comes with that privilege. She added:

“We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility. As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender.”

The lawsuit only includes the current team, but they are looking to gain class-action status, which would mean that any previous players who wanted to could sign on to be part of the lawsuit.

The New York Times notes that direct comparisons between the men’s and women’s teams can be complicated by the fact that each team has their own collective bargaining agreement with US Soccer that outlines different pay structures.

The team will head to France later this year to defend their title at the Women’s World Cup. I don’t know about you, but I’m already rooting for them both on and off the field.

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