300 years away from gender equality: how to combat it

Riley Carroll, Arts & Life Editor

No, this article’s headline is unfortunately not a typo. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that we are nearly 300 years away from true gender equality. 

On March 6 at the Commission on the Status of Women, Guterres shared that “women’s rights are being abused, threatened and violated around the world.” He continued, noting that in Afghanistan, “women and girls have been erased from public life.”

As gut-wrenching as this sounds, it only gets worse. A collaborative Instagram post from Impact and Billie noted that the problem is progressing globally.

 “As we speak, laws in multiple countries are restricting women from leaving the home at will, working at night, choosing where to live, taking paid parental leave, getting a divorce [and] applying for a passport,” they wrote.

In the centuries that women have tirelessly fought for equality, there have been significant advancements, but we are still two and a half centuries away from being finished.

“We are 255 years away from closing the gender wage gap,” Impact and Billie’s post reported. “In the U.S., women on average earn 83 cents for every $1 a man earns. Those with marginalized identities make even less. For every $1 [a man earns], Black women [earn] 64 cents, Hispanic and Latina women [earn] 57 cents [and] trans women [earn] 60 cents. We’re also 140 years away from women being equally represented in leadership positions, and equal parliamentary representation will not be achieved until 2062. In the U.S., women only account for 21% of all C-level executives. This number drops to 5% for women of color. In July 2022, women held only 26.4% of parliamentary seats globally. In 23 countries, representation was below 10%.”

In an unequal world that leaves many feeling helpless and grim, it is difficult to have hope. Even so, it is more difficult to imagine a world without women. So, why imagine a world where women are worth less?

Here is what you can do to help — men, this includes you: vote, use your voice and donate if you are able. The United Nations suggests empowering women smallholders, investing in care, supporting women’s leadership, funding women’s organizations and protecting women’s health. UTSA students should consider supporting student organizations aimed at empowering women, like Women of Honor or Womxn in Leadership. Local San Antonio nonprofits you can check out include organizations like For Her, Girls Inc. and the Women and Girls Development Fund.

“Women shouldn’t have to wait three centuries for something as basic and necessary as equal rights,” Impact and Billie wrote.