Celebrate The Sisterhood
In 2016, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report stated that we are 170 years away from full gender equality. Yet with all the challenges women are still facing – as highlighted so vividly in the media right now – the road ahead may feel even longer.

The good news is recent years have at least seen more coverage given to feminist issues, with high profile events like International Women’s Day (IWD) – 8 March – reaching more corners of the world each year.

Unknown to many though, IWD is not a recent observance. In fact, this year will mark its 43rd anniversary. Since the current global trend is a push for female empowerment, and since the sisterhood is visibly rising, Oasis Living has put together 43 interesting female facts to give you food for thought.

Some are inspiring, some infuriating, and some may just make you go ‘huh?’...

1 International Women's Day was founded on 8 March1908 when 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay, and the right to vote

2 The campaign theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress to fuel the media to help achieve gender equality

3 The wage gap is by far the worst in South Asia, where women earn 33 per cent less than men

4 Despite women working longer hours than men when both paid and unpaid work is taken into consideration, women still earn an average of 24 percent less than men do worldwide, according to a 2015 UN Women Report

5 Women in ancient Rome would wear the sweat of gladiators to improve their beauty and complexion

6 Women have more taste buds than men

7 More than 400,000 women enlisted and served in World War II

8 Women today have an estimated 450 periods in their lifetime – that’s over five years (in total) spent menstruating

9 In 2012, the UAE passed a law calling for mandatory female representation on all boards of governmental corporations and bodies. It is the first country in the region to implement such a law

10 Fifty-eight percent of college graduates are women, and this increased percentage of educated women has been directly tied to economic growth worldwide — and faster economic growth at that

11 Women were first allowed to participate in the Olympic Games in 1900

12 Only 22 of the 197 countries on Earth can say they have women serving as heads of state

13 Women still spend more time on housework and childcare than men do. The UN reports that women spend one to three hours more on housework than men, two to 10 times the amount of time caring for children and the elderly, and one to four hours less per day on economic market activities

14 Between 1975 and 2015, women’s participation in the citizen labour force in the UAE has risen from 2.2 per cent to 32.8 per cent

15 Over 80 per cent of women wear the wrong size of bra

16 Ever wonder where the word “woman” came from? Many believe it’s derived from the Middle English word “wyfman”, meaning “wife (wyf) of the man

17 Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1903. In addition, women over the years have patented non-reflective glass, disposable diapers, white out, and industrial lathes, among many other innovations

18 The first computer programmer was a woman. Her name was Ada Lovelace

19 Despite the UN's Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women back in 1993, currently, 1 in 3 women worldwide are victims of violence — and it's usually at the hands of an intimate partner

20 Highly refined women of the 19th century refused to say the word “leg,” as it was seen as too risqué. They preferred “limb” instead

21 Mary, Queen of Scots, went into public a few days after her husband’s murder to play golf. She is the first recorded woman to golf in Scotland

22 Because of the high production of oestrogen during puberty, girls’ brains generally mature two years earlier than boys

23 A 1770 bill proposed in the British P arliament suggested that any woman wearing make-up should be punished for witchcraft

24 While the percentage of women married before the age of 18 has dropped in North Africa and the Middle East by about 50 percent in the las t 30 years, globally speaking, one in four women alive today were child brides

25 Virne Mitchell, the first professional female baseball player, struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

26 The only event women could enter in the 1924 Olympics was ice skating. Fifteen women performed

27 In the North African Tuereg matriarchal society, men wear veils and women do not

28 Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were built by women: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were planted by the Assyrian Queen Semiramis; and the Masoleum of Halicarnassus was built by Artemisia, queen of Caria

29 In Russia there are 9 million more women than men

30 A female schoolteacher was the first person ever to ride over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel

31 On average, women live two to five years longer than men, a fact which holds true in every country in the world. This isn’t limited to human beings; female orangutans and chimpanzees also outlive their male counterparts

32 Miami is the only US city that was founded by a woman

33 Billie Jean King, the US tennis legend and the winner of 20 Wimbledon titles, famously beat Bobby Riggs in 1973 for a USD100,000 prize in "The Battle of the Sexes" after he said to her that men were superior athletes

34 Historically, Egypt treated its women better than any of the other major civilisations of the ancient world

35 Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s

36 In the 1920's and 1930's, women dominated the screenwriting profession in Hollywood's movies

37 Jamaica, Colombia and St Lucia are the only countries where a woman is more likely to be a boss than a man

38 Sharks are nine times more likely to kill men than women, a major new study into shark attacks around the world has found. No-one knows why

39 In China, women who remain unmarried in their late 20s and beyond are called "Sheng nu" which means "leftover women"

40 The United Arab Emirates has the biggest gender imbalance in the world, with 219 men for every 100 women

41 The modern concept of women shaving their armpits only began in 1915

42 In Albania, a group of women called burneshas live in mountain villages as men in or der to avoid societal restrictions. They cut their hair, w ear men’s clothing, practice male gestures and mannerisms, and change their names

43 Wonder Woman (2017) is the first superhero film starring a female lead and directed by a woman
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