World celebrates the power of women and girls

Girl power: Thousands of women marched for women’s rights the day after Donald Trump became president.

Is it harder to be a girl than a boy? Today is International Women’s Day. It is a time to celebrate the achievements of amazing women, while campaigning for more gender equality.

What’s happening

One hundred years ago, women in the UK had only just been allowed to vote. There were no women in Parliament, no female lawyers and only a handful of female doctors.

Today is International Women’s Day, and life is very different. However, some say that women are still not equal to men.

Find out more

There are lots of reasons for this. The UK has a female prime minister, but only one third of MPs are women.

Women in the UK earn around 18% less money than men do.

At the UK’s top 100 companies, there are only seven female CEOs. There are more top bosses named David than there are women.

Many women also complain that they face small forms of sexism every day. This could be someone assuming that they are bad at maths or science. It could be men interrupting or not listening to them. Often they are judged for their looks instead of their ideas.

Is it harder to be a girl than a boy?

Some say…

Yes! The world was built by men for men. Women and girls often have to prove that they are just as good as boys. They are also expected to look nice all the time. It is very tiring! That is what makes International Women’s Day is so important.

Others think…

No. Women have fought for equality for over 100 years. Girls can now grow up to be whatever they want. It is illegal to discriminate against someone for their gender. What’s more, life can be hard for boys too. It is not a competition.

You Decide

  1. Is it easier to be a boy or a girl?

Activities

  1. International Women’s Day is also about celebrating female role models. Write a short speech about a woman or a girl you look up to. This could be a celebrity, a woman from history or someone you know in real life. Take it in turns to read out your speech to the rest of the class.

Some People Say...

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.”

Coco Chanel

What do you think?

Word Watch

Parliament
The place where politicians vote on new laws.
MPs
Members of Parliament. Politicians who are elected to vote on new laws.
CEOs
Chief Executive Officers. This is the most senior person at a company.
Sexism
Unfair treatment because of someone’s sex (whether they are a boy or a girl).
Assuming
Guessing without any proof.
Discriminate
Treat unfairly because of something outside of someone’s control (such as their gender, race or religion).
Gender
Being a boy or a girl.

Subjects

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