Today is International Women’s Day – 2013 edition

womens-dayI haven’t written about this in two years and so I thought I’d out down a few thoughts about the day.

The calls this week for an end to Female Genital Mutilation are nothing new. It’s been more than five years since I became aware of the issue and it’s still a huge issue affecting far too many girls and women.

The call I made in the blog post from two years ago hasn’t been answered. There’s still no real focus happening on gender specific medical treatments for either gender specific conditions or pain relief.

Meanwhile the Arab Spring has happened and women’s rights in Egypt are on the slide, and Afghanistan is still pretty damn crap on these kinds of things. Though that sadly all feels a bit too same old, same old, which is quite pathetic but I do feel somewhat powerless to do anything about it.

And people continue to be confused about the point and place of feminism in today’s world. Sure, we’ve had rounds of photos of people holding up placards saying why they need it, but it boils down to the fact that gender roles and stereotypes are truly the problem and giving the struggle for gender equality a genderised term seems anti-productive.

Closer to home – the revelations about gender pay gaps for graduates has peeved me off. And the fact that the costs of childcare are continuing to escalate doesn’t exactly hold up much hope for those women who’d like to have a few kids while having a career (e.g. me).

You know what would be nice and doable? For the UK government to remove the small amount of VAT added to sanitary towels and tampons. I don’t think it’s right that the government profits from women bleeding out of their vaginas. I’d say make them free, but considering that other essentials aren’t free… yeah.

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