Are you a meaning-making machine ?

The Clock is Ticking : BACKWARD FOR WOMEN

Sometimes it is just a customary sound; but a movement that takes us backward; instead of steering us forward.

2017 and 2018 have been the most regressive years in the progress of women. 

Since Trump became the President of the United States of America, a new culture of suppression of women rights has unleashed worldwide.  He has slowly degraded Women Rights by attacking fair pay legislation, defunding reproductive rights and changing the definition of violence against women. His attitude towards women is evident from the way he treats women and his objectification of the whole gender. In response, the women rights movement has revived itself, only to become negative and vicious.

No one wins when we have to fight. It is still a pity that we have to wave flags, march, hoist posters and commemorate each other on this day every year. We should not have to. 

The global economy could be enriched by about $160tn (£120tn) if women earned as much as men. 

No Zaghari-Ratcliffe should have to be in a prison in Tehran, banned from accessing medical care blamed for things not done. 

The US State Department should not have canceled Jessikka Aro's International Women of Courage Award because she frequently condemned  Donald Trump on Twitter for his bigoted rhetoric and attacks on the press.

A decade ago, no country gave women and men equal legal rights. The United States has fallen behind many global third world countries today in respecting women rights.

In 131 economies there have been 274 reforms to laws and regulations, leading to an increase in gender equality. This includes the 35 economies that implemented laws on workplace sexual harassment, protecting nearly two billion more women than a decade ago. 

But the average global score is 74.71, indicating that a typical economy only gives women three-quarters the rights of men in the measured areas.

Six economies—Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden—score 100 in the Women, Business and the Law index, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured areas.

The average global score is 74.71, indicating that a typical economy gives women only three-fourths the legal rights of men in the measured areas.

However, the average score in the Middle East and North Africa is 47.37, meaning the typical economy in that region gives women less than half the legal rights of men in the measured areas.  

Equality of opportunity allows women to make the choices that are best for them, their families and their communities. However, equal opportunities in getting a job or starting a business do not exist where legal gender differences are prevalent. 

Legal restrictions constrain women’s ability to make economic decisions and can have far-reaching consequences. For example, women may decide not to work in economies where the law makes it more difficult for them to do so, or where they may get paid less than men for doing similar jobs.

Afghanistan eliminated a requirement for married women to be accompanied by or have written permission from their husbands to get a passport. 

Côte d’Ivoire no longer requires all married women to provide a marriage certificate when applying for a passport, a burdensome step in an economy where many marriages are not formalized.  Iraq’s new passport law repealed the requirement that women under 40 be accompanied by a guardian when applying for a passport. Finally, following a decision by the constitutional court, Kuwait amended its passport law so that a husband’s consent is no longer needed for a married woman to have a separate passport. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Togo all reformed their family laws to allow women to choose where to live in the same way as men. Previously husbands had selected the family’s residence and their wives had to live there. 

Starting a Job analyzes laws affecting women’s decisions to enter the labor market. Thirty-five economies across every region introduced sexual harassment laws protecting women at work.  Of these, five—Argentina, Bangladesh, Georgia, Malaysia, and Moldova—introduced sexual harassment laws, but did not provide for either criminal penalties or civil remedies for the violation of these laws. 

In Georgia, for example, the 2010 Gender Equality Act defines sexual harassment and establishes that it is not allowed, but there is no criminal penalty for sexual harassment nor can a victim sue for a civil remedy. 

Additionally, nine economies introduced laws mandating nondiscrimination in employment based on gender.

Twenty-two economies reformed to remove restrictions on women’s work, reducing the likelihood that women are kept out of working in certain sectors of the economy.  

Of these, Bulgaria; Croatia; Kiribati; the Philippines; Poland; and Taiwan, China removed all job restrictions on women. 
Additionally, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Guinea, Jamaica, Libya, Moldova, Samoa, and Tajikistan removed restrictions on women working at night. 

Five economies removed restrictions on women working in specific industries. Colombia and the Czech Republic removed restrictions on women working in mining.  

The Democratic Republic of Congo removed restrictions on women working in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Mongolia removed restrictions on women working in construction, energy, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and water. 
Finally, Slovenia removed restrictions on women working in construction. 
Several of these reforms were motivated by the improved use of technology in these industries. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Guinea, Hungary, Samoa, and Vietnam also removed restrictions on women working in jobs deemed hazardous, arduous or morally inappropriate. 
However, Vietnam also introduced job restrictions on women working in agriculture, construction, energy, transportation, and water.

 Bolivia, Ecuador, Malta, and Nicaragua all granted women the same rights to remarry as men. Malta and Timor-Leste also granted women the same right to divorce as men. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo removed a legal requirement that wives obey their husbands. And Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Togo allowed women to be heads of household.

Australia, Chile, France, Montenegro, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Kingdom all introduced paid parental leave. Georgia, Mauritius, Mexico, and Samoa prohibited the dismissal of pregnant workers.

Democratic Republic of Congo reformed to allow women to register businesses, open bank accounts, and sign contracts in the same way as men. The Democratic Republic of Congo also prohibited gender discrimination in access to credit, as did 23 other economies from across every region but the Middle East and North Africa.

Meanwhile, in November 2018, US district judge Bernard Friedman declared unconstitutional a US law banning female genital mutilation (FGM), and dropped key charges against practitioners was an “outrageous” blow to the rights of tens of thousands of girls at risk of the abuse, according to campaigners.