International Women's Day (8th of March) should be a space for celebration of women, as much as of reflection on why we actually still need a day for women at all. And how is this for something to celebrate: the vast majority of women in the UK feel free, safe, and more satisfied.
Women in the UK complain about lower salaries and glass ceilings, and - rightly - deplore the sexual abuse they still encounter. But women in Britain are a lot better off than many of their counterparts around the world - even in America, where women feel much less safe and less satisfied with their standards of living. Women in the US also tend to worry much more than in the UK, and the same goes for women in the Netherlands and Finland. Plus, the UK comes joint 6th for women being least concerned with crime in the world, together with Norway, and very much above such countries as Germany, Switzerland and France.
Should these statistics worry men? Well, men in the UK definitely need to up their game if they want to compete in the job market with the highly educated, active members of the opposite sex: in spite of still representing a smaller part of the workforce than men, women are a third more likely to enter higher education than men, with predictable consequences for the future. Not only that, women feel better too according to the Prosperity Index and Gallup World Poll:
- Women in the UK (80%) are now for the first time more satisfied with their living standards than men
Compare this with only 70% of women in France or 57% in Italy (with a difference 9% and 14% percent from men, respectively), and suddenly the picture becomes even brighter.
- Women feel freer to choose what to do with their lives than men
In fact, this has been so since 2006. Women in the UK not only feel freer than men to choose what they want to do with their lives than men, also the most recent numbers of women responding positively are quite high: 86%. Although not yet at the levels of Switzerland, Norway and Canada, where women's satisfaction is pushing 100%, the consistency of these results as presented paint a beautiful picture of freedom of choice for women in the UK.
- Women in the UK trust local police more than men
Higher trust in local police forces means that women won't be afraid of reporting crimes - an issue that persistently haunts women around the world and leaves numerous cases of abuse and rape unreported.
The celebration of women should be done every day, but in the upcoming International Women's Day I will celebrate the fact that I am a woman living in the UK.