2021 Equity Challenge Day 17: Women’s Equity

I raise my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala Yousafzai

Pakistani activist and youngest Nobel laureate

The fight for women’s rights has been a long and enduring battle that spans generations. The inequities that women face exist across multiple sectors like education, politics, the workplace and healthcare. Across society, women are discriminated against based on gender and gender expression while being disproportionately affected by issues like domestic and sexual violence, the wage gap and living in poverty.

Gender inequity persists in large part due to sexism and patriarchy. Sexism is prejudice and/or discrimination based on gender. Sexism primarily affects women, transgender women and girls. It is important to understand that sexism operates on the individual, institutional and cultural levels. Some examples of sexism include street harassment to feminine expressing people, the undervalued and underrecognized caretaker work that is primarily held by women, and masculine voices interrupting and often taking up more time and space in a room then feminine voices. Instances of sexism work to maintain patriarchy, a system where men uphold social power. 

Reflecting on Day 15’s learnings about Intersectionality, it is important that we approach today’s challenge with the recognition that women of different races, ability statuses, sexual orientations, etc. will have different experiences and issues that relate to women’s inequity. For example, according to the ACLU, women earn 78 cents to each dollar a man earns. This gap is widened when race is factored in. Black women earn only 64 cents and Latinas only 54 cents for each dollar earned by white men. Today’s challenge explores the devastating effects of sexism.



Review this information from Amnesty International about women’s rights. (10 minutes)

Read this article describing how we must use a intersectional approach to solving women’s issues and building a post COVID-19 world.

Read this article on “How Sexism Follows Women From the Cradle to the Workplace.” (10 minutes)


Watch this video that shows “Gender Equality Explained by Children.” (3 minutes)

Watch this video from Brown University that explains what patriachy is and how it looks in society. (3 minutes)

Watch and share this Virtual Town Hall between United Way and the Michigan Women’s Commission on Gender Equity, Child Care and More.

Reflect And Share:

  1. How did today’s material make you feel? What did you learn from today’s material? 
  2. How have you seen sexism in your life? Think of your experiences with parents, siblings, co-workers and friends, your educational experiences, etc.
  3. How can broadening our understanding of women’s inequity help us center equitable solutions in our communities?


Start the conversation. Send the tweet. Share your story. Make the Facebook post. Sharing what you learn and experience with your family, friends, and co-workers is the first step toward allyship.

Join thousands in conversation by using hastag #EquityChallenge or #TakeTheEC21