The message for today, International Women’s Day, is to call on yourself and others to work together to forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world. As I write this entry, I am reflecting on the headlines this week that are not exemplary of that aim.
- Stories about nude photos of female Marines that were published without consent to secret websites.
- Moves to defund Planned Parenthood – an organization that provides contraception and cancer services to low-income women
- A potential ban on refugees, the majority of whom are women and children, from war-torn countries.
Discouraging to say the least. But them I remind myself to take a look at the world now as compared to 50 years ago, both for myself and for women throughout the world. When I finished my Ob/Gyn residency in 1991, 22% of all Ob/Gyn providers were female. Currently 85% of Ob/Gyn residents are female and since 2003 female applicants for medical schools have outnumbered male applicants. Most college campuses are 55-60% female. Women are making their way up the ladder in education and the next mountain to scale is the workplace.
In the greater world, extreme poverty has been markedly reduced over the past 25 years. Women and children are disproportionately represented in this sector so will see a greater benefit when they have enough food to make them more productive workers. Educational opportunities for women in the developing world are increasing at a rapid rate and with education comes the ability to control the size of your family and participate in higher earning jobs.
We still have work to do in this world to equate opportunities for women. #Be Bold for Change within your neighborhoods, places of worship, social environments and workplace to create equality for women, because when we all have the same opportunities everyone benefits.