New Internationalist

Figures For Feminists

Issue 150

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Figures for feminists
These are some facts which show how we live in a man’s world.
They illustrate how far there is to go before men and women become
equal ... and they prove that feminists have a case.

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Women should be given the right to have as many or as few children as they like. These countries prevent women exercising this right by stopping access to contraception: Chad; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Greece; Ireland; Kampuchea; Laos; Libya; Malawi; Malta and Saudi Arabia.

Government positions on Contraceptive Services
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Source: International Planned Parenthood Federation Policy Analysis Unit, 1979.


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Women get paid less than men. Women’s average earnings as a percentage of men’s, in manufacturing industry, 1982.

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Source: ILO Year Book ofLabor Statistics, various editions, US Bureau of the Census, various editions.


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Women are less likely to be promoted than men.

Teaching staff in England and Wales

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Source: Department of Education and Science statistics.


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Women do not have the same rights as men in voting, buying or owning property, getting jobs or getting married. Only some countries have passed laws which try to amend this situation.

Percentages of countries which have not passed equal rights laws.

A
B
C
D
E
West EUROPE and North America (of 22 countries)
36
36
82
82
68
East EUROPE (of 9 countries)
22
0
44
44
22
AFRICA (of 38 countries)
53
24
71
95
82
ASIA (of 35 countries)
34
27
71
83
89
OCEANIA (of 3 countries)
100
33
33
100
67
LATIN AMERICA (of 31 countries)
58
29
84
68
38

A: General equal protection provisions - these are guarantees which are general in nature and do not specifically mention sex.

B: Sexual equality provisions - these are laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, and require equality before the law regardless of sex.

C: Civil, political, economic, social and cultural affairs - these are provisions that extend sexual equality provisions, so attempting to remove some of the obstacles that cause inequality between men and women.

D: Marriage and the family - these are provisions that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex in marriage and/or the family - for example in the choice of name, in guardianship of children or in disposal of property.

E: Employment - those constitutional provisions that prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex in employment, including equal access to jobs and equal opportunities for training and advancement.

Source: International Planned Parenthood Federation, 1985.


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Women are frequently subjected to male violence - in the home or on the streets.  In a Leeds study 59% of the women questioned had experienced violence to themselves in the past year, and 47% had witnessed violence to other women. This table indicates how many of these incidents were reported to the police.

Source: Jalna Hanmer and Sheila Saunders in the Public and the Private, Eva Gamarnikow (Ed).

TYPE OF OFFENCE
PERCENTAGE
REPORTED

Major:

38

Minor: Indecent exposure

38

Obscene or threatening phone calls

8

Assault, battery, breach of peace

13

Insulting or threatening behaviour

6

Proportion of total reported 12%.

Other statistics show that

. 75% of murdered women were killed by a husband or boyfriend.

. 25% of all violent crimes reported during one year in Glasgow were assaults against wives or girlfriends.

. Approximately 1 in 100 married women are victims of domestic violence.

Sources: Select Committee on Violence in Marriage, 1975, Jane Root, Pictures of Women: Sexuality.


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Most women challenge the idea of conventionally-defined success. They place high value on aspects of life which are usually defined as means - such as being convivial - and lower value on those areas - such as career advancement - which are conventionally seen as ends.

The proportions of working women rating seven different aspects of their jobs as ‘essential’ or ‘very important'.

Work you like doing
91%

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Friendly people to work with
86%
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A secure job
76%
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CoRvenient hours of work
75%
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A good rate of pay
74%
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An easy journey to work
59%
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Good prospects
49%

Source: Department of Employment Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, 1980.


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[image, unknown] There are many areas in which women work harder than men, and for less reward. Housework is a typical example. Men must share work in the home if women’s equality is to be achieved.

70 young women were asked which members of their families regularly did housework (figures in percentages).

Respondents:

White

Black

Average

(16 year old women)
51.1
66.7
58.9
Mother
83
57
70
Father
4.3
-
7.4
Brother
0
0
0

Note: The percentages do not add up to 100 percent for each group because most young women named more than one individual in their household who regularly did domestic work.

Source: Typical Girls?, Christine Griffin, 1985.


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