By Liam Menzies (@blinkclyro)
According to a World Economic Forum report, this is the amount of time it will take to end discrimination towards girls and women at the current rate world leaders are acting. As today marks the International Day Of The Girl, the spotlight is firmly on feminist organisations that are attempting to speed up the process and give girls the same opportunities as those of the opposite gender.
Engender, a Scottish feminist organisation based in the capital city Edinburgh, is one such group who are using this annual event to make the inequality women face everyday visible. According to their website, the group work in three key ways: Making women’s inequality visible, influencing and enabling then finally bringing women together to make change happen.
The first of these initiatives isn’t too difficult, especially from a global standpoint as girls are twice as more likely than boys to never start school as well as the heatedly debated wage gap which has found its way into mainstream politics thanks to the likes of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn shedding light onto it.
Influencing and enabling is very much self-explanatory as the group specifies, “we want our research and analysis to make a difference to women’s lives”. Engender constantly engage with those in power, such as MSPS, to help with their goal as well as working with private and public bodies to help tackle inequalities within them, something that is prevalent as seen by a report claiming that Scotland has the worst gender pay gap in the UK.
Last but not least, bringing women together is a vital step in helping combat inequality. Internalised misogyny is a common talking point between feminists and Engender see that it’s important for women to talk about sexism, especially now that someone as despicable and misogynistic as Trump now stands a chance in becoming President of The United States.
When approached by UWS Newsroom about their thoughts on the day, Engender responded in a way that put further significance on the struggles women face, saying:
“On International Day of the Girl it’s important to acknowledge that women and girls in Scotland still don’t have equality. Girls in Scotland receive abuse and harassment every day, are more likely to face violence, and will grow up to have less money, power and representation than men.
International Day of the Girl is a chance to reflect on Scotland’s gender equality, and reaffirm our commitment to achieving equality for girls.
With there being over 1.1 billion girls around the world, an event like IDOTG is something that many see as being out-dated: how in 2016 are we still having to fight for the rights of women almost a century after the suffragettes? If world leaders aren’t prepared to step up things a gear then organisations like Engender are more vital than we can possibly give credit for. Here’s hoping that with their help as well as doing our own part than we can hit the UN’s target of wiping out discrimination against women by 2030.