International Women's Day: Gender parity

The British Psychological Society's Psychology of Women Section welcomes this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) with its particular focus on gender parity.

Gender inequality continues to have real and significant impact on women and girl’s lives around the world. Inequality is played out in many ways including health, employment and other more broad economic measures.

Below are two comments from members of the BPS Psychology of Women's Section (POWS):

The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close for many years beyond 2095.  More action is needed now in order for the pay gap to be addressed.

The 2016 IWD calls on all of us - men and women – to pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference or develop more inclusive and flexible cultures. There also needs to be a focus on valuing care and other work that is not remunerated, to ensure that the contribution of many, predominantly women, is truly recognised.

Dr Lindsay O'Dell, Chair of the BPS POWS Section.

Sport can act as an important site for reflecting on gender parity. We can see clearly the disparity between women and men’s sport, for example, women’s sport makes up just 7% of all sports media coverage and just 2% of national newspaper coverage is dedicated to women’s sport.

Despite more women participating in sport where 2012 saw London become the ‘Year of the Woman’, we tend to see waves of change in different arenas and in different countries, but then things tend to go back to the status quo where gender parity seems to slip backwards again.

Dr Helen Owton, BPS POWS committee member.

The BPS Psychology of Women's Section will hold its annual conference in Windsor from 6 to 8 July 2016.