We live in a world where women are still far from being treating as equal. Despite the great progress we've made in the last century alone, we still see institutional sexism, the gender wage gap, and unequal representation in government in the United States.
Enter 50/50 Day, a global initiative aimed at having more conversations on how can we have a more gender-balanced world. And thanks to Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, the city of Philadelphia, PA, has taken a stance in favor of gender equality by officially declaring May 10th as 50/50 Day.
"We will not have true equality until women achieve parity with men in earning power and potential. Many women remain clustered in occupations considered women’s jobs — clerical work, nursing, and many caring professions," Reynolds Brown told Refinery29. "When compared to jobs traditionally held by men that require similar levels of education training and experience, women’s work always pays less, simply because it is women who are doing the work. In fact, women earn less than men in every occupational classification for which data is available."
One of the reasons is there aren't enough women in government. According to the Center for American Women in Politics, women occupy 104, or 19.4%, of the seats in Congress (there are a total of 535 seats). And the proportion of women in state legislatures isn't much better: As of 2017, they make up 24.9%.
The councilwoman also believes when women aren't involved in politics, their exclusion leads to the enactment of laws that limit access to affordable contraception and women's rights to make decisions over their own bodies, and it becomes acceptable for blatant expressions of sexism.
She said, "When women are not at the table, we are more likely to be on the menu."
Making 50/50 Day official in Philadelphia is an effort to educate her constituents about the importance of gender equality and how everyone can help women. Reynolds Brown revealed the proclamation at the Vision 2020: Equality in Sight event, which included a screening of the documentary 50/50 followed by a panel discussion. "Equality matters in terms of leadership," she said.
"Women have so much to contribute. We deserve to be afforded ALL of the full opportunities of access at ALL levels of the Philadelphia workforce. Further, now more than ever, as a nation, it is imperative that we empower and arm our young women with the tools and skills required for them to become leaders of tomorrow."
#GettingTo5050, a global movement rooted in actionable tools and resources, aims to catalyze the conversations that will inspire a more gender-balanced world. Because true equality doesn't just lift women — it lifts everyone. Learn more here.