However, women in the west still don't get equal pay. Here in the UK um... we still only earn 75% of what men earn and, the... you know the problem with child care seems to get worse rather than better and it's becoming increasingly expensive. So much more difficult for women to have a job and kids.
Richard: For this week's podcastsinenglish.com we're talking about Women's Day. So Jackie, when is Women's Day?
Jackie: It's today, Richard er... March 8th.
Richard: Ah. And is it something only celebrated in the UK?
Jackie: No, it's a worldwide event. It's International Women's Day.
Richard: Right. So what's it all about?
Jackie: Well, it's a global day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. And in fact in some countries: China, Russia, Vietnam for example, it's a national holiday.
Jackie: So, important to them.
Richard: So how long have we been celebrating Women's Day then?
Jackie: Just over 100 years. You know at the beginning of the 20th century there was a growing movement for women's rights mainly centred around the right to vote and the idea came up then for a special day for women. And um... the first International Women's Day was actually 1911.
Richard: Okay you talk about the vote, now I remember that... well I don't remember, I just know that the... in New Zealand, they were the first country to give women the vote, weren't they? I think it was 1890... 1893?
Jackie: Yeah but remember Richard they were way ahead of all the other countries. Um... everybody else had to wait much longer. They had to campaign for... for many more years. In the UK, for example, it wasn't until 1923 that all women over the age of 21 could vote. You know they had to wait until then for them to have the same voting rights as men.
Richard: Right. So this is all in the past um... is it just looking back?
Jackie: No. Of course not. The... the Suffragettes, however, who were responsible for um... getting women the right to vote...
Richard: In the UK.
Jackie: In the UK. They are remembered, their cause is remembered er... and don't forget some women actually died for the cause. But no, it's about the present and the future as well.
Richard: Well, things have come a long way since then haven't they especially in the UK.
Jackie: Yes, definitely. However, women in the west still don't get equal pay. Here in the UK um... we still only earn 75% of what men earn and, the... you know the problem with child care seems to get worse rather than better and it's becoming increasingly expensive. So much more difficult for women to have a job and kids.
Richard: Yes, it's interesting that in the west um... more difficult for women to get jobs and also politicians, there fewer politicians etc etc but in most of the world, the workforce is female, isn't it?
Jackie: Yes. Internationally, two thirds of the workforce worldwide is women, you're correct. However, amazingly they only earn 10% of the income and even more astonishingly they only own 1% of the property.
Richard: So there are plenty of things for the... for the women's rights movement to do then.
Jackie: To campaign for yes, absolutely.
Richard: And what do you think about the future, then?
Jackie: Well, I can't say I'm very optimistic, Richard, I think it's going to be a man's world for a long time to come.