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A woman's worth (literally)

Kamylle Edwards

 // Mar 22, 2018

There are 3.6 billion women in today's global population. And in the United States alone, women are 47 percent of the workforce, and yet are consistently underserved. So the ongoing battle for women's equality seems preposterous when they single-handedly have the biggest impact on the global economy.

The redundant theme of self-awareness echoes mantras like "know your worth," but at this point a woman's worth is apparent. Apart from being naturally blessed with the power to bring new life, women have defied gender roles by taking positions in every industry under the sun. There is really nothing the woman can't do. Despite countless data and accounts of women's impact, they must beg to be valued in the workplace and at home.

Times are changing rapidly. It is not an illusion. Women are exercising their rights through voicing their grievances and applying pressure to bring change. According to a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Labor, women in America own 10 million businesses, grossing $1.4 trillion in sales. They are also some of the leading innovators in science and medicine. As a collective, women have the power to affect change by simply choosing to support those who support them. Women in America alone maintain a $20 trillion spending power, according to a 2013 Nielsen Consumer report. They are also out-earning their husbands by 40% annually, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Considering these facts, it comes as no surprise that women are fed up and will no longer tolerate being overlooked.

In a society that dictates what is or is not appropriate, we have extremists on both sides. The spectrum spans from Women's Marches to SlutWalks, as both parties rally to change the narrative behind feminism and sexuality. Feminists share a firm opinion on the demand for equality between the sexes, while sexual liberators like Amber Rose simply desire to express their sexuality without harassment. The two concepts counter each other in many ways which is the undercurrent in most historical women's movements. While when grouped together women are extremely powerful, they are often easily divided by personal ideologies which makes progress difficult. To be frank, if it doesn't include all of us it will never be substantially effective.

Recently there has been increased conversation on the relationship between women and global poverty. According to Oxfam, "Gender inequality in the economy costs women in developing countries $9 trillion a year." It has been proven that closing the wage gap reduces global poverty. Across the globe, women earn 23 percent less than men. And 75 percent of women in developing countries work without employment contracts and legal protection, and will work four years longer than men over her lifetime.

To put things in prospective, every time you go to choose to spend at businesses with poor moral and ethical business codes, you support the deprivation of women. Women who are economically empowered have a global responsibility to band together through our purchases. It's been said before, but if you need to hear it again, we've got to "hit ' em where it hurts." No one knows how to do this better than the woman but now we must be active.

Marches are a necessary reminder that we will not be silenced however there are more effective ways to bring the change we seek. At the root of most of these inequalities is capitalism. We must reprogram ourselves to prioritize people and the human experience over our finances. We can achieve this through monitoring where, when, and how we choose to spend our money that we already work three times harder to acquire and maintain. In short, there are billions of women out there for us to support, pick one.

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