Pay discrimination in the workplace based on gender – surely that’s a long distant memory, right? Wrong. Pay separations based on gender for the same quality of work continue to hold women back and prevent economic mobilisation even in today’s society.

According to the Press Gazette, a shocking 91% of UK-based media companies paid men more than women on average in 2018, indicating the vast gap in terms of economic outcomes for both genders. Of the worst gender pay gap offenders, the Telegraph Media Group came out on top with a median hourly pay gap of 23.4%.

Whilst the UK is arguably in a ‘better’ position than other developing countries that have even more severe gender discrimination in the workplace than just a pay gap – with the existence of women in many senior executive positions virtually invisible – the gender pay gap is nevertheless an issue which affects all nations and must be combatted. Whilst the wider pay gap across all industries has largely shrunk in most countries, some are actually seeing a rise in pay discrimination, such as Portugal, whose pay gap rose to 17% in 2016.

Several UK media based organisations have pledged to address these issues by conducting investigations into pay and revamping their recruitment so that it represents a 50:50 gender split in the workplace. However, only time will tell if these changes will be effective. In order to combat this issue more globally, particular attention will have to be paid to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which addresses the promotion of gender equality and the importance of decent work and economic growth for each individual, regardless of their gender.

It is all well and good encouraging women to flourish in the media industry and take up key roles as presenters or executives, but until they are supported financially and feel encouraged to speak up, without an environment of discrimination, sadly there will be little progress. We must bridge this gender pay gap and heal the economic scars of the pasts, rather than continuing to let it divide us.

Photo credit: Nick Efford

AUTHOR: guest blogger, Lauren McGaun

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As a woman and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, sex education for me was unhelpful to say the least. In fact, the only sex education I experienced in my Methodist school was in GCSE Biology, where we learnt about the science behind the different sexes and nothing more. Interestingly, my male friends in school were taken aside and provided with condoms and a brief explanation, while the other women and I were not.

It has been a while since I was in secondary school and I have learnt that sex education, or RSE, has recently been reformed. In 2017, Education Secretary, Justine Greening announced that she planned on developing a standard form of ‘Relationships and Sex Education’ within schools. This is due to be implemented in September of 2020, with improvements to the information provided by teachers about contraception, same- sex marriage and consent.

However, upon closer inspection of the full report of the proposed changes, I was disappointed to learn that discussions on the LGBTQIA+ community were mainly focused around the family image, and not actual relationships.

Whilst there are improvements in the overall teaching of sex education, with emphasis on safety and healthy relationships, there is a lack of information on pleasure and sexual acts, especially within LGBTQIA+ relationships.

There is also the concern surrounding the parents’ rights to remove their children from RSE up until the age of 16. Children deserve to understand RSE before they reach the age of 16, as usually their experiences and exposure will begin before that age.

While it is a huge improvement to the curriculum, there is still some way to go. There will be difficulties with religious schools, as we have seen with the protests outside of UK schools (although these are rare) alongside parental interference with the teaching. However, we are seeing progress that has been needed for many years.

AUTHOR: guest blogger, Katherine

Photo credit: Sarah Chi

Women being seen and treated differently is a common issue all around the world. GlobalGirl Media prides itself on empowering and mentoring young women. The first week of the international academy was nothing less than that. The mentors stood by their aim and empowered young women from all around the globe.

The first week of training at the academy was amazing. We learnt from each other and got to hear the perspectives of young women all around the world. We were empowered through out the week through other women's beautiful work and what they stand for: reporters and activists. We discovered more about women in the media, why they chose to report, what they report, where they come from and what reporting means to them.

We managed to discover ourselves and that we have a voice, and a voice that matters. We touched on issues that affect women all around the world; issues like the menstrual cycle, gender based violence, gender inequality, child marriage and many other issues that we all talk about every day. We also discovered just how amazing it is to be a woman and have support from other women. Women are strong when they stand together and support each other. We also got to see and read each other’s blogs. We got tips about blogging.

Personally, I am looking forward to having a blog of my own, which is relatable and producing a short film based on the topics we already touched during the first week. This academy is the type that every young girl needs in order to grow, discover and understand themselves a little more and learn. It is a great privilege to be in an online room with international females.

AUTHOR: guest blogger, Kamo

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