By Ana de Liz
Kingston’s women said their biggest hope for the future is equal pay and equality in rights, according to a survey conducted on International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the pay gap (the difference between a man and a women’s wage) for all types of contracts in the UK stands at 18.1%.
“Having three daughters who are trying to make their way in the business world, I think it (my biggest hope for change) is that they will be regarded as equals in terms of equal pay,” said Carolyne, 53, who works at the Bentalls Centre.
She added that she also hopes that working women who have children get more support, such as providing childcare that “doesn’t fleece women of all their wages” so that all women get the opportunity to work if they want to.
Charlie, 30, a staff member of the Kingston Union for Students, said one of her biggest hopes for women was: “to have the power and the rights that men do, but also to have the ability to show all your femininity at the same time.”
In celebration of their day, the other part of the survey asked women was what they loved about being a women.
“I think that being a women now and being in a position where you’re going through that transition of power or being empowered is a really cool thing to be a part of,” said Megan, 23, a Politics and International Relations student.
“I don’t think I’d want to be a man”
Yvonne, 90, said that she loved being a mother of two children and seeing her granddaughters grow. She added: “I’m old now but I don’t think I’d want to be a man.”
“I think that when females come to instances when they don’t have the same rights or the same access to things as men do is something that bonds women together. I certainly feel that female relationships are very different to male, but being a women I do think that I really enjoy those relationships,” added Charlie.
The organisers of the Women’s March on London came together with the Argentinian collective “Ni Una Menos” (Not one less), which led mass protests in the South American country against gender-based violence and murder in October 2016, to call for an international day of action.
In the “Day without a Woman”, both organisations encouraged women to not engage in paid or unpaid work, only spend money in small, female-owned shops and wear read in solidarity with the cause.