What does it cost to be a woman?
Royalties from our book will help send refugee women to school
International Women’s Day is a call to action. And this year, we want to shed light on what it means to be a woman through the lens of financial and emotional cost. Why? Because it is expensive to be a woman, and because talking about it informs.
As Female Invest, we can only make a small impact for gender equality. Which is why we are supporting UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and their Aiming Higher for Women Initiative. This UNHCR campaign is geared towards raising funds to enable young refugee women to pursue a higher education and a chance to choose their own path in life.
Information is power
What does it cost to have your period?
Having your period costs around $10/month in feminine products
That’s $120/year or $4,800 in a lifetime, if we consider that women menstruate for 40 years.
But what are the hidden costs? What does it cost socially when girls have to sit out gym class? What does it cost emotionally? What does it cost for the women paid hourly salaries when they have to take sick days because of menstrual cramps? Not only for their income that month but also for their income over a lifetime?
What does it cost to be illiterate?
75% of the world’s 876 million illiterate adults are women
Education enhances our world and paves the way for people to realize their potential and to actively contribute to their local economies. It gives power and empowers.
But right now, 129 million girls worldwide don’t go to school, preventing them from having equal opportunities later in life. If we’re going to change status quo, women and girls need equal access to education.
What does it cost to earn less?
Every time a man earns $1, a woman earn 82 cents
So around 18 cents per $1. A recent study found that 40% of the gender pay gap can be accredited to the fact that women continue to be overrepresented in lower paying jobs.
We need to move on from this outdated worldview that women, and women’s work, should be paid less. This is not just a matter of the individual woman. It’s about the perception of our community, our society, and our world.
What does it cost to not have a say?
Women hold only 21% of the world’s parliamentary seats
In other words, 79% of those who pass laws in our societies are men. Why does that matter? Because representation matters!
If women don’t have a say when laws are made, how can we secure a society of gender equality? How can we ensure that our voices, experiences and bodies are also taken into consideration? The result is inevitably inequality.
What does it cost to not have access to financial education?
Only 3% of European women invested in 2021
So, the price is high for financial gender equality, and even higher for gender equality. Women are undoubtedly capable of investing their money. As a matter of fact, women are better investors than men.
It is crucial that we continue to democratize access to financial education so everyone can learn how to grow and sustain their wealth to create a better future for themselves and the collective.
What does it cost to do unpaid care work?
Women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work every day and vastly dominate this category.
The monetary value of their labor is $10.8 trillion/year … Imagine what the world would look like if that kind of money ended up on the woman's bank account and society instead? What would it mean for woman's savings, investments and retirement if her time was actually worth money? What would it mean for equality?
What is the cost of femicide?
In 2021, 45,000 women were killed globally by their partner or close family
That is more than five women killed every hour. What does that mean for the self-perception of a whole gender that our bodies don’t belong to ourselves? We feel less confident, and that has an impact on how we navigate the world around us.
True equality can only be achieved if we are allowed to live freely on our own terms and in our own bodies.
What is the cost of gender inequality in leadership?
At Fortune 500 companies, women only account for 10% of the CEOs
Why is this a problem? Because representation matters. It matters from a product perspective because everything from medicine to technology is primarily tested on men.
It matters from a financial perspective because women then earn less. And it matters from a societal level; what does it mean that little girls don’t see women in leadership positions?
Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.
Aiming Higher with UNHCR to give young refugee women access to education
Did you know that only 5% of refugees are enrolled in higher education?
To combat this, UNHCR has launched the initiative Aiming Higher to help fund life-changing scholarships for refugees. Aiming Higher is a call to invest in the best chance we have for a collective future – smart, dedicated young minds.
Higher education for refugees paves the way for the scholars to realize their potential, be economically empowered and choose their own path in life.
That is why we’re donating all royalties from our book sales in March to the Aiming Higher Initiative. Get your copy — for your individual goals and our collective mission towards a better futur