Wednesday 5: The Best of the Internet on ‘International Women’s Day’

In this week’s Wednesday 5, we selected some of the more notable features we came across as the world (and social media) celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8. Yes, around the world “Women & Girls” were trending—as they should always be. These features include: a sobering reality check on oppressive laws against women, a new campaign to highlight the United States’  lags in gender equality, a beautiful Google Doodle on women’s achievements, a reminder of the contributions immigrant women make to our economy, and a love letter to science from girls!



Women Everywhere and the Law

When Yasmeen Hassan was growing up in Pakistan, she writes on the website of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, “the defining moment in my life came when  I was 10 and laws were changed to make women effectively second class citizens—they were not able to sign financial documents or give evidence on their own. They could get flogged for being raped. . . . The law makes a critical difference. It is a statement of your worth as a citizen and influences the direction your life will take.” Today, as global executive director of the international women’s rights organization Equality Now, Hassan is in charge of a lobbying campaign  to pressure 45 countries (including the U.S.!) into changing laws that are especially oppressive to women. “This International Women’s Day,” the organization urges, “let’s prioritize legal equality for women and girls.”



We’re Not There Yet

A new report from the partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—No Ceilings—was released on Monday and aims to convey the message that although many strides have been made towards gender equality, the United States still falls behind. The intiative’s “Not There Yet” video features the voices of Amy Poehler, Sienna Miller, Padma Lakshmi, Cameron Diaz, and Jenny Slate, who cleverly make the case for the campaign’s slogan. They point out the following data:

  • The U.S. is one of only nine countries that do not provide for paid maternity leave
  • One in four girls worldwide is married before the age of 18
  • Women now make up the majority of U.S. college graduates, but occupy only 5% of the CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies
  • Women in the U.S. make $0.78 to every man’s dollar

Be sure to check out the Daily “Take Action” section of #NotThere. It’s complete with important and doable ways we can all participate,  including this latest Tweetable message :

Give a baby girl the best chance in life by talking, reading & singing to her from birth. Learn more: #NotThereAction 



Google Doodle

iwd-201503091031579We simply loved how Google celebrated International Women’s Day via art: A Doodle dedicated to global women’s achievements.



They Work Hard for a Living

“America is a nation of immigrants,” goes the mantra we’ve been hearing since the civics classes of our youth. “Their hard work makes our economy stronger.” On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Walter Ewing, senior researcher at the American Immigration Council, sets out to document the contributions that immigrant women make to our economy. “More and more,” he notes, “immigrant women are coming to the United States not as the dependent relatives of immigrant men, but as workers.” Indeed, immigrant women now comprise 7 percent of the American work force. They do necessary, vital work: housecleaning, being home health aides, working as cashiers, registered nurses, janitors, and building cleaners. Most of the jobs are ill paid: in fact, 25 percent of immigrant women workers make $12,119 per year or less! Ewing concludes, “International Women’s Day should serve as a reminder that much work remains to be done to achieve equal opportunity and basic dignity for immigrant women in the U.S. labor force.”

Read more:



Girls Do Science

What can warm the heart more than hearing our girls talk about how much they love science with statements like “If you think about it, science is everything!” Microsoft’s new ad “Girls Do Science” caught the attention of Adweek, which deemed it “Ad of the Day” for International Women’s Day. We agree, and so do nearly 2-million-and-counting viewers on You Tube.

Join the conversation

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  • annie vanderven March 11, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I am an emigrant woman (50 years ago!) please remember that America is, compared to the rest of the world, a fantastic country. This needs to be said once in a while.