Over the last month we have had a wonderfully creative US Season. To continue on with this success, Kettle are launching a Women’s Season to celebrate the achievements of women. While many may think it’s quite controversial to dedicate a season entirely to women, we would like to remember the success of women from all around the world and everything that women throughout history have given us today as well as look to the future.
Celebrate women’s achievements
There have been great achievements made by women throughout history, achievements that we would love to celebrate. Annie Jump Cannon, who developed the stellar classification scheme still used today, Mary Anning, whose geological discoveries were central to uncovering the earths history, Ellen MacAthur, who became the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe non-stop singehandly, amongst many others. There have also been many movements, especially for equal rights, that have been pioneered by women. These achievements and discoveries have given us the world in which we live today, pushing forward our knowledge in many different areas.
There are also a great number of successes made by women who are celebrated less often: ordinary women. Every woman who has had a positive impact upon themselves or upon another should be celebrated. Every woman that supports their family, their friends. Every woman who bares and raises a child, creating a family and another generation. All women should be celebrated. With our Women’s season, Kettle hopes to celebrate all women – the famous, the ordinary, the world leaders, the school teachers, the mothers, the daughters – because all deserve recognition for their successes.
The progress of gender equality
Another cause to celebrate women is with the aim to create a better future. Many developments have been made in the name of gender equality; however a report from the European Institute for Gender Equality, published earlier this year, showed that there has been only slight progress towards equality within the EU since 2005. Based on data collected between 2005 and 2012, the report even suggests that women’s rights have not progressed in the UK. Whilst all progress is a cause to rejoice, there are still many areas where a gender divide remains.
The gender pay gap has been a topic of much debate over recent months, especially when Prime Minister David Cameron announced he wishes to solve the issue within a generation. So although there have been notions to make change and small amounts of progress has been made, the fact still remains: women are paid less than men even if they do the same job.
For every £1 a man earns, a woman will earn 80 pence for doing the same thing. This meant that in 2014, after a small rise in 2013’s pay gap, women effectively worked 57 days without pay in comparison to men.
The gender pay gap is just as clear, if not clearer, in the world of sport. In 2014, the prize money for winning the men’s World Cup stood at $35 million. In comparison, after winning the women’s World Cup earlier this year, the American team won just $2 million. Further, the total payout of the women’s World Cup stood at $15 million, and yet the team placed fourth in the men’s 2014 World Cup were awarded $20 million. The losing men’s team received more than all the teams participating in the women’s World Cup put together!
Whilst women’s sport has been increasingly popular more recently, sexism in sport is still prevalent. Many still believe that women shouldn’t compete in sports dominated by men, such as football, rugby and even judo. Unfortunately, this was particularly blatant around the 2012 London Olympics, a topic which Jessica Wells touches upon brilliantly here.
As you can see from just these two brief examples, there is still a gender divide and sexism is still rife in certain industries. And that’s without even touching upon topics such as the media, sexualisation, education and political representation, or considering underdeveloped countries. To me, it’s clear: we still have a long way to go in order to achieve gender equality.
So, not only will our Women’s season reflect the great achievements made throughout history, but it will also shed light upon the present. Through this we hope to highlight the feminist cause and its continued relevance in today’s society to fight for a future where all genders are equal.