1% – A (mini) social Commentary

I am a white, college educated, working/lower middle class, female Midwest resident. I have been extremely privileged in living the lifestyle I have been for the past 22 years. This semester as I focus my studies on Gandhi, Hemingway, magazine writing and publication, I try to constantly remind myself how grateful I should be to have this opportunity to learn. Because, well, getting an education hasn’t always been possible–and my lifestyle is nowhere near a guarantee for women around the world.

Today I came across this article from Huffington Post writer Soraya Chemaly. Focusing on the UN’s recent gender issues’ statistics, Chemaly notes and comments on women’s place in society today, highlighting that women only own 1% of the world’s property.

“Women perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property.”

“Women’s nominal wages are 17 percent lower than men’s.”  UN Gender Issues

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Boy, I have a lot to say about those numbers. Like I said to begin with, I have spent the past 22 years living a highly privileged lifestyle.  A lifestyle I’ve even complained about. Complained about working, going to class, doing homework…the list goes on. It isn’t completely unwarranted, what I do can be very difficult and time-consuming. But looking at these numbers makes me realize I must appreciate every opportunity I’ve been given and use any position I have to give back.
So right now I’m hoping that this post will make someone more aware of the status of women in the world. So, check out the UN’s website for more numbers. Take a look at Chemaly’s article. Question your lifestyle. And maybe, if you are so inclined, take a look at how you view your place in society. How can you give back and create a better life for others, if only the people around you right now? Do you feel lucky?

2 thoughts on “1% – A (mini) social Commentary

  1. Hi Emily, nice meeting you today, hope to see you around the office this summer. Very nice commentary… so much sadness yet hope, truth but travesty in this posting. I like it. Talk soon…

    Bonnie the art director
    CenterPoint Energy

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