Some facts about International Men's Day

Today is International Men's Day.

The annual event is designed to draw attention to issues that disproportionately affect the male population such as the risk of suicide, which is an important and tragic issue.

The archetype of 'real men' who don't talk about their feelings creates a stigma that has serious knock-on effects: in the UK, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45. Men are also prone to missing serious health issues as they are less likely to visit the doctor, and underperform academically compared to girls.

What gets obscured by International Men's Day though is the fact that there are far fewer risks associated with being born a man than being born a woman.

Women may not be a minority, but they are not equal to men in society - which is why we don't have an able-bodied day, white people day, or straight people day.

Here are some sobering facts about the reality of being a woman in the UK today:

  • The Office for National Statistics said this week that the UK's gender wage gap has barely changed in the last four years - the gap for full time workers was 9.6 per cent in 2014, and 9.4 per cent in April 2015

  • Women have also borne 85 per cent of the brunt of the coalition government's austerity policies

  • One in five British women report sexual violence during their lifetimes, and it is thought that 96 per cent of rapes go unprosecuted

  • 25 per cent of women report experiencing domestic violence over their lifetimes, and between six to ten per cent will suffer in any given year

  • 40 per cent of murdered women are killed by a partner or ex-partner

...And globally, women are far less likely to complete secondary education or participate in politics. For many, the glass ceiling at work will never even be reached: in 18 countries, women still need to ask permission before they even get a job.

Every day, 830 women die from preventable complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth.

And in modern warfare and conflicts around the world, rape is used as a widespread weapon of war as women's bodies are seen as legitimate terrain for violence.

So, yes, it's International Men's Day, or as it's more commonly known, just another Thursday:

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