Gender equality has come a long way since the suffragettes fought for the right to vote just over a century ago, and yet half of the planet’s population still faces out-dated taboos everyday. Women are still required to tiptoe around the realities of their own lives (we’re looking at you periods, body hair and pay gaps!). Just by existing on this planet women are automatically at a disadvantage, often oppressed before exiting the womb — gender reveal parties and sex-selective abortions are pretty powerful examples of why we still need to fight so hard for equality.
Unfortunately, the list of stigmas women face on a daily basis is too long to tally up here, but we’ve chosen 10 that still exist and seriously shouldn’t.
The period stigma
Matsui believes we need to speak openly about periods because they are totally normal. She says, “I actually feel like we can go a step beyond periods being normalized to them being celebrated, or at least respected! Periods deserve some respect, dammit!” She explains, “The implication is that being female is still othered instead of being the standard or the norm.”
The employment stigma
According to statistics published by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, full-time working Indigenous women earn 35 per cent less than non-Indigenous men, disabled women earn only 54 cents to the dollar compared to non-disabled men, and women of visible minority earn a third less than non-minority men. Women are also overlooked for important assignments more than men, perceived to have given into sexual bribes when they’ve climbed the proverbial corporate ladder and have to suck up the possibility that having a child will likely damage their careers. Workplace gender biases eat away at women’s confidence and make it extraordinarily difficult to truly get ahead, which might explain why only 7.4 per cent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women, with only three of these women being people of colour.