by Ronja Baerecke

The 8th of March, a very important and special day for women all over the world. In the last 100 years a lot of things changed for women. They were given the right to vote, to get divorced (in some parts of the world at least) and work. But what is worth your work if you don’t get paid fairly and equal as men? How can it be that in times like this, women still have so many deficits compared to men? In China for example women earn 40 % less than men, so its the biggest gender pay gap worldwide.

Europe is doing more for women, but not enough

In Europe that gap is not as huge as in some parts of the world, but it is still way too big. Germany is the 3rd highest one with a difference of over 21 %. Spain is just number 17 with nearly 15% in the private sector and just 6 % in the public sector, that is under the European average of 16 % in the private sector. But there is hope. Countries like Iceland or Switzerland are under 4 % already. Some economists say that this gap will be totally gone in 100 years.

Women make the world turn around

That is way too long for a lot of women who protested in different cities to show their displeasure. Thousands of women in cities like New York City, Madrid or Rome marched through wind and rain to give their gender a voice. And that is not just an important sign but a huge signal to all women: stand together, fight together and not against each other. It was unbelievable how women in Madrid stood together, holding hands, singing songs, shouting slogans. At this day it seemed nothing could tear them apart, no matter which age, religion or race. That important sign shows the strength and power of women if they protect each other.

The feeling of community and cohesion is indescribable. On the other hand, it is very sad that women still have to fight so much for a better treatment in the society. It is not just about unequal payment but also against rape, oppression and exploitation. The sad truth is: there is still too much of all this worldwide and one day in a year is not enough to change that. Sure, it is a good first step, but the feedback from the media and the reports worldwide should give it much more attention than now. Me, as a woman, I deserve to be treated equally.

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