March 8 – International Women’s Day

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Happy International Women’s Day Everybody!

I have to admit I don’t like the way this day is celebrated where I come from, in Hungary. Here “Women’s Day” preserved its old socialist holiday feature when men present women with flowers or chocolate. Now, it’s not that I don’t like flowers and chocolate, but I would much rather be treated equally and fairly every single day of the year than being celebrated on this one for something I am not even responsible for achieving (being a woman, that is).


Via The Economist

You can see Hungary is not even close to the worst off countries regarding economic and social rights of women. Men only earn less than 10% more than women (while we all agree 0% would be ideal), but although women are over-represented at every level of higher education, there are barely any of them at managerial levels, neither in the public, nor in the private sphere. Hungary is one of only three countries in the European Union right now where there are not even one woman member of the government. 

Check out Eurobarometer’s recent report on gender equality in the European Union for more data.



Salaries and the gender wage gap is the single most measurable indicator of women’s position in developed countries and it hugely correlates with the overall treatment of women, still, whether it is good or bad to be a woman somewhere can depend on so much more than the number on your paycheck.

The gender wage gap is a serious issue and it is still an issue in the majority of the world. Moreover, I could complain daily about being called names at work that my male colleagues never get called and how it bothers me. Working in an area dominated by men, I am quite often being ignored or silenced at the men’s table myself. And how I hate getting cat calls out in the open street (or anywhere for that matter) feeling humiliated knowing a certain part of society thinks I called for it dressing like a woman (= wearing skirts for work). 

And these issues have to be talked about and have to be dealt with. Nevertheless, while we are at complaining about our problems, let’s not forget that there are many less fortunate ones out there.

– There are countries where girls are forced to marry between the age of 15-19 or even younger.

– There are cultures biased towards sons to the extent where it is encouraged to abort the pregnancy if the child turns out to be a girl.

– There are places where baby girls are not even registered at birth like they did not exist at all.

– There are countries where women are not allowed to possess, the cannot earn, they cannot inherit legally.

– There are places where violence against women is accepted, women being raped are blamed themselves, and can be punished with death for it.

– Many countries girls and women are denied the right to education.

– There are cultures where women cannot go out to the street or attend public places without a male chaperon like they were children all their lives. 

– There are cultures where young girls are forced to go through genital mutilation.

How about “Happy Women’s Day” for them? And these are just some of the worst of it all.

For more data check out the following sources:

OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014

The 10 Countries Where It’s The Worst To Be A Woman

Surely, we’ve come a long way, but we are not even remotely close to the way things should be by now!

To all the ladies, for Women’s Day, I wish you to be respected and appreciated for what you are worth every single day of the year! Let’s all work together so that one day Women’s Day can be all about the flowers and chocolate instead of constant reminders of how much is yet to be done to achieve gender equality!

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