On March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day.   Originating in the early 1900s, the purpose is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day is also a call to action for accelerating gender parity.  This year’s theme is Break the Bias with an aspirational goal of creating a world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination against women.


And although women around the world have made significant progress and key contributions in numerous areas, there is still a long way to go to reach full parity with men.  So, in support of International Women’s Day, FirstLantic shares five statistics that should remind us all why breaking the bias is so important.




  1. Gender discrimination is embedded into law in countries across the globe.
    • 113 countries do not have laws to ensure equal pay for equal work among men and women
    • 104 countries make certain jobs off-limits for women.
    • 39 countries have laws that mean a daughter cannot inherit the same proportion of assets as a son.
    • 36 countries limit what wives can inherit from their husbands.
    • 18 countries allow men to prohibit their wives from working
    • 17 countries limit when and how women can travel outside the home.


  1. Women are not equally compensated for their work.


  • Women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3% of men’s, and the gap is even wider for many women of color.


  • Women earn less than men in nearly all occupations and women earn less than their same race and ethnicity counterpart at every level of educational attainment.


  1. The pandemic has set women’s labor force participation back more than 30 years. 


  • Covid stalled gains made toward closing the pay gap, and layoffs and a lack of childcare forced many women out of the workforce entirely. In February 2021, women’s labor force participation rate was 55.8% – the same rate as of April 1987. And women of color and those working in low-wage occupations have been the most impacted.


  1. Women do not have equal access to power.


  • Women account for about 27% of members of Congress although that is a 50% increase from the number of women serving a decade ago.




  1. Violence against women is increasing globally and within the U.S.


  • 4,774,000 women in the U.S. experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.


  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.


  • For women that are the victims of homicide, 55 percent occurred at the hands of a former or current partner or the partner’s family or friends.


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