Do you feel that? That's the cultural shift that's happening because women are creating modern-day movements towards real change now. At MAKERS, we are committed to highlighting the changeMAKERS who are leading the charge towards ending sexual harassment across all industries, providing resources for women in war-torn countries or teaching girls to code and more. By highlighting their stories, we hope to empower the next generation of female leaders to go even further and reach new heights that we haven't yet seen. (Parkland teens, we see you and we support you!)
And it's a real necessity, because when you look at the latest statistics, we've still got a long ways to go. Luckily, there are tons of amazing organizations and MAKERS advocating for equality. So, in honor of Women's History Month, let these numbers light the fire in you to raise your voice for the causes that matter to you most.
1. In 2016, just 57 percent world's working-age women are in the labor force, compared to 70 percent of working-age men. Microlending programs like Kiva help women start and sustain their own businesses. (Department of Labor)
2. Women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts' earnings. Talk about how much you earn, and report inequality. Learn about how to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC here. (White House)
4. 62 million girls are denied an education all over the world, and former First Lady Michelle Obama started shining a light on this issue through her Let Girls Learn initiative in 2015. #UpForSchool wants to continue to fight to change that. Sign their petition here. (UN Foundation; 62 Million Girls)
5. Every year, an estimated 15 million girls under 18 are married worldwide, with little or no say in the matter. Girls Not Brides studies the problem and is working to find workable solutions. They know that education and empowerment for girls are the first steps. You can help by sharing the facts or donating to projects making a difference.
6. 4 out of 5 victims of human trafficking are girls. The Malala Fund raises awareness and funds for girls to get out of this cycle and into school. (Malala Fund)
7. According to the UN Foundation, "At least 250,000 maternal deaths and as many as 1.7 million newborn deaths would be averted if the need for both family planning and maternal and newborn health services were met."
8. On average, 30 percent of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by their partner. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers volunteer opportunities, and you can support them at their events by checking their calendar here. (WHO)
9. Female genital mutilation (FGM) affects more than 200 million girls and women alive today in 30 countries. It is recognized internationally as a human rights violation. Equality Now offers specific points that will help you take action against FGM worldwide. (WHO)
10. American women serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are more likely to be raped by a comrade then killed by an enemy, and the rate of sexual harassment reports is higher than ever. In 2016, service members reported 6,172 cases of sexual assault compared to 6,082 in 2015. The Service Women's Action Network helps achieve equal opportunities, protections and benefits for women in the military. Learn about their mission. (Pentagon; NBC)
11. Until recently, women in Saudi Arabia weren't allowed to drive and are still discouraged from working jobs that would put them in contact with men. The unemployment rate for women is 33 percent for women, 7 percent for men.
12. At least 1000 honor killings occur in India and Pakistan each annually. Honor based crimes are distinguished by the fact that they are often carried out by a victim's family or community. The Honour Based Violence Awareness Network includes resources for victims and allies. (HBVA)
13. As of early 2017, 223 colleges in the United States had a total of 304 pending Title IX sexual violence investigations (quadrupled from 2014). Learn how you can help stop sexual assault at It's On Us. (NPR)
14. Women around the world aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria. (UN)
15. Around the world, only 32 percent of all national parliamentarians are female. That's more than double the number in 1995, but still a marker of slow change. Running Start is an organization that helps bring young women into politics. Learn about their programs and events here. (UN)
16. By 2020, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs in the U.S. and, at the current rate of students graduating with degrees in computer science, men will outnumber women 4:1. Girls Who Code aims to educate and expose at least 1 million girls to computer science by 2020. Learn more about what they do here. (Microsoft Research)
17. One in five women on U.S. college campuses have experienced sexual assault. End Rape on Campus offers resources for survivors and supporters, working to bring more cases to court and raise awareness. (AAUW)
18. Women currently hold 24, or 4.8 percent of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies. Mentorship programs like Step Up help keep girls in school, getting them that much closer to an executive position. Learn how you can play a part. (Catalyst)
19. More than 43 million people around the world are forcibly displaced as a result of conflict and persecution. Half of all refugees are women. Zainab Salbi founded Women for Women International to help women in war-torn countries build their own futures. (UN)
20. Less than 30 percent of the world's researchers are women. Google has a program to inspire the next generation of tech innovators. Learn how to help girls gain exposure to careers in science and technology. (UNESCO)
21. One in three women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Amnesty International pushes for laws that recognize this statistic, and its website has a list of ways to get involved in the change. (WHO)