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International Women's Day 2015: Background and statistics

Published Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What are the trends for women's equality in the UK and across the globe? This document provides background statistics for International Women's Day 2015, examining international comparisons and UK-specific data.

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8 March is International Women's Day. This year the global theme is Make it Happen, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. Around the world, organisations, government and women's groups come together to mark the past, present and future economic, political and social achievements of women.

Although there have been shifts in society about women's equality since the first International Women's Day in 1911, significant issues remain. Internationally, there are inequalities in education, in access to wage employment, and in health. Gender-based violence is present in every society in the world, and more than 125 million women and girls alive today have undergone Female Genital Mutilation.

In the UK, on average, women working full-time earn 9.5% less than men. Although women make up 51% of the population in the UK, only 23% of MPs, 25% of judges and 21% FTSE 100 company directors are female.

Commons Briefing papers SN02936

Authors: Carl Baker; Cheryl Pilbeam

Topics: Equality, House of Lords, International development, International politics and government, Members of Parliament, Parliament

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