tv Inside Story Al Jazeera March 8, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
>>they're firing canisters of gas at us. >> we have to get out of here. >> mao zedung said that women hold up half the sky, but on the ground, it's hard to fully appreciate the lives and work of women and since they deserve full equality, economically, socially, politically. on this international women's day, we'll acknowledge we're not there yet but are we headed in the right direction? it's the "inside story".
welcome to "inside story". i'm ray suarez. it's international women's day. it's a celebration more than a century old, begun by trade unionists, socialist work parties, and women struggling for the right to vote. the world of women in the 21st century will be unrecognizable for a young adult of a century ago. women around the world enjoy the same legal status as children in many places. can't inherit or own property. couldn't testify in courts of law, spent much of their adult lives pregnant and dying more often in childbirth or suffering the long-term effects of frequent childbirth. undervalued. and the profits they created throwed into the hands of men. today, things are undoubtedly
better. women vote, lead countries, run businesses, earn advanced°, divorce, control their fertility, things that would have been stunning to women when international women's day began. that's something, but today, it's far from equality. whether you're hauling water back to your home in east africa, planting rice patties in china, convening a meeting in latin america, or running for president in the richest and most powerful nation on the planet. with a long way to go, we're looking at what's heading in the right direction. joining me for that conversation, noreen pharaoh, anita, president and ceo of the es still group, and molly, senior fellow for the center of american progress. welcome to you all and happy international women's day. i want to go around the table and get a report card of the
things that stand out that are going well, badly, well and here at home and around the world. noreen, let's start with you. >> thanks, ray, and happy international women's day. and you're right, we have made such tremendous progress, especially for women here in the united states, but i would say that we still have a long way to go. and i think that the primary issue for women in america is the wealth gap. because it really impacts our ability to impact the political approximate. we're only one out of ten of the top 1% income earners of the united states, we make up 2/3 of the minimum wage workers, and so that impacts our ability to both influence being politics in terms of our money and our time and our ability to participate. so those are things on our mind in terms of where we have to go. >> anita. >> i would agree with lorraine a. the income gap and the
wealth gap, for educational attainment. when you talk about color and minimum wage it's going to be african and latino women so, the numbers related to the wealth gap are even more perverse for women of color. >> and molly. >> from a global perspective we're not doing well. everything that you described for progress made is not true for women around the world. half of them still can't own or inherit land. many die in childbirth. and too many of them are married as children, so it's a grim picture. >> since you said it that way, is there anything that you can say about women in 2016 that's widely applicable to women around the world, or must you be specific to country, to social standing, to race and
ethnic origin and that kind of thing? >> i do think that everywhere, women are working incredibly hard and not getting awarded for all of that. so they're making incredible strides everywhere, and yet on things like education and healthcare, still not recognized. so i think that that's something universally that we all understand that it's still a struggle. >> anita, are there sectors, are there stand out groups? are there places that are particular bright spots, where you can drill down and say, this is a guide, this shows us that things can get better? >> i think so. i think that over the years, we have seen a number of bright spots in terms of women advancing. but the question is, is it enough, and does it happen fast enough? we can look at the candidates running for elected office, and we have canceled gates running for senate, and two women running for president this year
in both parties. in context, what we do know, 92% of the world's wealth is controlled by men. 98% of the world's wealth is controlled by men around the world. women do 72% of the work, so molly is absolutely right. we're doing a whole bunch of the work without owning the assets, and we're 52% of the world's population. women in the united states are a particular bright spot because women around the world turn to us for leadership. and now with changing demographics, it's inviting more women of color to be involved in leadership rules, because eight out of 10 people in the world are people of color, and the fastest growing countries in the world are countries of color, so i think there's a lot more responsibility for this new demography for the majority of the u.s. holding in and filling up the piece of the pie. >> are men sold on the notion that women's progress is a good
thing since they're cobeneficiaries of the progress that women make? if they're able to earn more than money and get more education and run a healthier household in various ways? men benefit tremendously for women's advancement, but underlying, there's a conversation that they're not totally sold on it. >> it's interesting, when you were asking about the bright spot, i actually feel like the recognition by both men and women, that women are an important piece of our economic health, has been a fairly big change and positive change in this country. 90% of americans, men and women, believe that women should get paid equally for their work, and women are drivers of the economy in important ways. here in california, after the great recession, really, the bounce back can be attributed
to part of the four labor sectors that are dominated by women workers, retail and home health. so there's a growing importance for women, not only to the economy, but to the family. women are cobreadwinners, and primary breadwinners and the sole bread winsers in the majority of american homes now, so when we don't get paid our full darb, we also need support. >> molly, is there also anxiety thatta companies it? >> absolutely, there's anxiety, and i think that there's worry that we need to change our economic systems, graphic change, and it's true that women are such an important part of the economy. saying that if we can improve our rates in the workplace, by 2025, we could improve the global gdp by $12 trillion. there's that case being made,
the rights and the dignity and the economic power, and even their own parties and maybes and sons enjoy, changing for women since the first international women's day more than 100 years ago. noreen, anita, and molly are still with me, and just before the break, we were talking about the impediments that still remain. and women produce much of the world's food, they produce of of the world's fiber that becomes homemade clothing, and they do it with less equipment, less input, less fertilizer, fewer work animals, less automation, all of those things, less land title. so they're overpunching their weight x yet in many places, if a woman goes in to get a bank loan, let's say to increase her yield, get some of the tools by hiring people, it's still hard to do. >> that's absolutely true.
women are discriminated against dramatically. if you look at bank loans to women, women are great investments, and a lot of banks think this they aren't because of historical cultural refines, and they actually give them worse rates. so they're missing out on a huge opportunity for women. and as the global economy is slowing down, you see more retrenchment, more fear. >> you know, an eta. i've been giving a lot of commencement talks in the last 20 years, and noticed that women have lopsidedly become the recipients of bachelors degrees, and i always lean over and say next to the person i'm sitting to, the president or the provost, was the enduring class 50/50? because i'm looking at 60-40 in caps and gowns. is that what's driving the
narrowing gap, or is the gap remaining in spite of women's success in school? how do we think about that. >> that's a great question. and i think that in terms of college attainment, women are doing extraordinarily well, and even making inroads in terms of the stem fields, science and mathematics. when we look at women of color again, that's very important in light of their emerging roles alleges the majority, but women are going to college at a higher rate, consistent with your observation, at a higher rate, larger than any other group. >> and completing. >> but they're still falling behind, compared to white women. they're doing better compared to black men, but they're still falling behind on the overall numbers. also, black women, those who are becoming educated, are often owning their own
businesses. last year, the rate for entrepreneurship by black women increased 270 purpose. >> so noreen, what's the impediments? how come those diplomas aren't more quickly turning into bigger paychecks, steadier promotions, more status for women that's more in keeping with their attainments in that field? >> you know, it's interesting. the take out gets worse the more degrees you have. so it's counter intuitive that you need to equalize the playing field with equal and better education, and women are coming into the colleges at a greater rate. but the women with the biggest education have the bigger pay gap. and i think that it's really important. >> but if there are more women
in the workplace and more who are bosses and more who have diplomas, how come there's not a critical mass that busts through the impediments? how come in the face of all of this achievement? >> i do think there remains a very persistent leadership gap. and that is women at the top of companies really influencing the priorities, the policies that often per pitch wait discrimination in the workplace, or keep women out of certain fields, and it's especially for women of color. i feel like that's our challenge in the years ahead to make sure that we're getting women up into leadership ranks, so they can influence how corporate america and others are treating their workers. i think that cultural norms diehard. the reality is that women often get seg gated into women's work, even if they graduated from college. that the highest paying jobs are often dominate bid men.
and we have our work cut out for us to say that if women dominate a certain field, it should be valued and valued in a similar way that a man's job would be. so i think that there's a leadership gap, and i think that there are prises tent cultural norms that keep women from advancing, and there are policies that could address discrimination that is keeping back women, especially women of color in this country. >> molly, cultural norms diehard, maureen ferrel said, and you can't sue your way into equality, can you? even if you have the right of the argument on your side of the table. >> i think that noreen is right. but i think that there's hope. we know that policies make a difference, and cultural norms change. they have, over the last several hundred years here in the u.s., we can make a change and change the system. so we need policies and the way
to equality. and we need paid family medical leave, and more representation. that's the thing that some countries have tried mandating quotas or volunteer quote as, saying that we need to have our board or leadership have 30-40%, and let's boost these things. >> in the countries that tried it, including some of the richest countries in the world, so it hasn't done them in looking at it that way. one of the recurring fences for the status of women in some societies is that culture and religion dictate the status of women. not bias or repression. so how do the women around the world answer? are they simply battles that they're fighting at this moment? or ones that you choose to fight first? stay with us, it's "inside story". find fantasy shows.
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human rights. blinded, disfigured, her face destroyed by an acid attack. in some societies, choosing to wear clothing of your own choosing may get you beaten on the street. the state of women is sometimes heavily culturally conditioned. her choices narrow, con strained. and forbidden. what would you say to those who would associate legal, economic, personal freedom with the breakdown of the family, the decadence or the license of other cultures, and the biggest voices in your own culture, working to keep women in their place? molly, anita, and noreen are still with me. and anita, you can hear it here in the united states and in countries around the world that this is the way we do things. and this is the right way to do things, and it's not that easy to turn around and do something else. >> right. well, you know, i don't want to
understate the condition that women are in around the world. actually, things are pretty awful. let's be clear about that. when you look at the violence against women, the human trafficking and the poverty, when you talk about women, you're talking about children. and when you talk about women and children, you're talking about a village, a community and a nation and a state and what have you. so to the extent that we have not made these gains in these areas that you've referenced, it's extremely problematic. yes, there have been gains. i can look at my own family. my mother picked cotton in miss mix and she had a second grade education here in the united states, she had seven kids, she was a divorced mother and she made $69 a week, and yes, there were times when i put water on my cornflakes because we did not have milk in the house. today, there are children in the united states and other
parts of the world who don't have cornflakes and water. and that's serious, it's absolutely intolerable. not only want absence of leadership, but it's the gross neglect of leadership at the top. and all of us, no matter what our positions r. we have to take responsibility, and not only for the care of these women that are still suffering, and in this country and elsewhere, but also for these children. i say to all of those young people organized around being black lives matter, all of them have mothers, and many of them have mothers who are unemployed, making below minimum wage, and some of them do have mothers who are unemployed. and most of them that we're working w. including some of those in flint, michigan, are those marginalized on the socioeconomic parameter of our community. and just because 50,000 of us have made it, it doesn't mean that the millions left behind
are okay. >> how do you push back, molly, against the culture that still is very heavy and very present in a lot of places? >> absolutely, something that i encountered at the u.n. often, you have the culture, but it's often used as an excuse. there are places with similar cultures that have very different outcomes for women. so for example pakistan and bangella derek. you have much higher female labor force participation, and muslims in asian countries, and often we're too afraid to challenge the way that things are. >> it's a way of saying indon't want to. a man says that's not the way we do things here, it's a way of saying i don't want to. >> noreen, when you see these conferences, women's conferences that have been held periodically around the world, they often end with arguments of just that kind.
>> well, listen, since the beginning of time, different forms of ideology have been used to really justify treating people differently because of what they look like or their race or their gender, and i think that we have to keep push being beyond that to say, women's equality is human rights. it is about building our economy. it's about taking care of our families, using a very microargument and a very microone. and i think that there have been great breakthroughs in the united states in terms of breaking through that ideology, but the reality is we still don't have the equal rights amendment in our u.s. constitution, and expressed sex discrimination in our own founding documents, and when it was signed, women were property. i think that we have our own work to do here in the united states to really take very
concrete and very symbolic actions to ensure that the culture we're embracing is one which is free of discrimination, based on sex and discrimination and a lot of other factors that don't have anything to do with someone's worth. >> if they're reintroduced, some of the loudest voices against it would be from women. >> well, it's interesting, last week, we just launched a change.org petition to get up the energy about the equal rights amend: an amend. amendment and in three days, we had people sign it. and i think that women's rights are popular in the united states. organizations like mine are trying to leverage and sees this moment to education -- you're right, not just men, but women who have their own
stereotypes that they're trying to overcome. i think its taking a holistic approach is really important. but i think that we're on the cusp of something very very interesting and i'm glad that we're talking about this today. >> a better shot for an equal rights amendment than 40 years ago. >> i think that as we get more women elected to office, there may be a better shot. but i think that it has to be multifaceted. i think that an equal rights amendment is part of the solution, but it's not a panacea, but we need to get more women elect to congress, and particularly women of color to the senate. i think that there's one senator from hawaii, and we don't have any latina nor any african-american women in the senate. so we have to get them in both parties, republican and democrat, to get the
different viewpoints in the highest positions in the country, and we definitely need to get a woman in the white house, and i think that i would love to see an african-american woman on the supreme court. so if you want an equal rights amendment, it would be great to have an african-american women on the supreme court to help interpret some of the rights that we're passing. we have to push, and that's what we have been doing, raising our assets into the political action committee. we're pushing to make sure that women from diverse backgrounds can make decisions not only to help women in the united states, but around the world. >> great to have all of you with us, happy international women's day. i want to thank my guests, noreen, molly, and anita. that's the "inside story," and joining us tomorrow for the look at the roots of trumpism. what explains the campaign and
the succession of this political neo fight. i'm ray suarez, and thanks for watching, good night. >> this is aljazeera america, live from new york city, i'm tony harris. trying to stop donald trump. mitt romney's efforts to prevent the republican frontrunner from winning in michigan. rising intentions between the white house and israel prime minister benjamin netanyahu after a canceled trip. ordered to testify against his colleagues. one or more officers accused in the death of freddie gray and celebrating women all around