By Sheereen Charles
Last month, we celebrated the economic, political and social achievements of women in the past. This month, we’re focusing on what needs to be done in the present for the future.
- Domestic Abuse
Around one in four women have been physically assaulted by a partner at some time in their lives. One in three female homicide victims are killed by an intimate spouse. Women who often suffer from domestic abuse are trapped in the abusive relationship for three or more years, some even dying before they could get the help they needed. More than 85% of domestic abuse victims have sought out help from professionals. However, research shows that a victim will contact professionals an average of five times before she finally gets help. In addition, many women’s shelters are being closed every year due to budget cuts. Domestic abuse is becoming a bigger and bigger problem that must be more effectively dealt with.
Men, women and children are being trafficked in their own countries and through international borders every day. Trafficking is a worldwide problem that affects every continent and every country; human trafficking is the fastest rising criminal enterprise in the world. Women and girls make up 98% of victims that are bought and sold worldwide into profitable sexual enslavement, forced labor and bonded labor. Although there are programs that fight for the rights of girls and women all around the world, the issue of human trafficking is still rampant.
- Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness
Poverty, hunger, and hopelessness are all connected to each other. In America, seventy million women and their children are teetering on the edge of poverty. A lot of women cannot miss one paycheck or they, too, will be homeless. Shelters are full to the brim, as most operate on a first-come-first-served basis. Among all developed nations, the U.S. has the largest number of homeless women and children. However, global poverty is still a topic that needs more awareness.
- Gender Wage Gap
Women are the main source of income in six out of ten homes in America, but they still make an average of 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Some believe this is because women are not represented as much in higher paying fields such as business, law, and medicine as they are in lower paying fields. Some argue that if employers introduced workplace flexibility in terms of hours, the gender gap in pay would decrease and disappear altogether. Whatever the case, the gender pay gap continues and is an issue that must be resolved.