BY: JESSICA BEUKER
In the past 20 years the percentage of women in parliament has almost doubled. The bad news is that even doubled, that number sits at a meagre 22 per cent. It’s a number that leaves me disheartened, as women for the first time ever are receiving more bachelor’s degrees than men, and shattering the glass ceiling as they squeeze into a multitude of “male-centric” occupational fields such as construction, engineering and law. I’m constantly being assured that we’re moving in the right direction. Yet an eye-opening video, released by Elle UK, has got me questioning my “You go girl” mantra and has left me awake to the painful truth that women are still facing endless barriers in their fight for social, economic and political equality.
The video, dubbed the ‘#MoreWomen’ compilation, depicts what the world’s institutions would look like with all of the men Photoshopped out. The brief compilation edits out men in the UN, the House of Commons, Saturday Night Live and University Challenge, just to show a few.
In many instances, there is only one woman left representing her entire gender. As the Independent points out, there are even some cases where the women left in the image are not even official leaders, but guests—like Emma Watson at the UN.
The #MoreWomen campaign will celebrate the global power of women’s collectives. As Elle said in a statement: “Smart, successful women are too often portrayed as one-offs: fierce individualists concerned with their own success. The story of how women in positions of strength continually support and empower each other is consistently ignored while the myth that we pit ourselves against each other perpetuates. We want to change this narrative in our Feminism issue and create a more positive conversation—to reflect the power of women, and to support and grow each other as we push for global equality.”
There is no short-term answer to the issue of women’s equality. Nor is it a problem that can be fixed by only one type of woman, or only women for that matter. As a feminist I remain positive and will consider every campaign, every speech, and every trending hashtag as a potential catalyst for social change. However, it is also important to remain aware of the disturbing statistics that reflect women’s positions in society in a pathetically, sombre light—and to use our cognizance of those representations to change them.
Image sourcing: tumblr.com