The stats that remind us why the UK needs International Women's Day

Portrait of female friends embracing in front of blue wall

As the world marks International Women's Day on Sunday, the main theme of the global drive will no doubt see the hashtag #EachforEqual trending online.

But when it comes to women in the UK in 2020, how equal are things?

Here are some of the areas where things still need to change for women in the UK.

International Women's Day 2020
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International Women's Day 2020
The Duchess of Sussex (left) embraces head boy Aker Okoye, in a school assembly, during her surprise visit to the Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham, Essex, to celebrate International Women's Day.
XUZHOU, CHINA - MARCH 8, 2020 -Female members of the blue sky rescue team pose in the shape of "March 8" during disinfection work in a kindergarten, celebrating their March 8 International Women's day, Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, March 8, 2020. (Photo by Hong Xing / Costfoto/Sipa USA)
Women hold banners while shouting slogans during the demonstration. Women from various organizations, including tribal and dalit communities, gather in large numbers to take part in a march against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), as they mark the International Women�s Day on March 8, 2020. (Photo by Rudhransh Sharma / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Women hold a banner that says Streets are mine, day and night during the demonstration. Hundreds of women march on the streets of Granada at the feminist demonstration prior to March 8, International Women's Day. (Photo by Carlos Gil / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Konnie Huq celebrates International Women�s Day early by taking part in their local IWD Parkrun in collaboration with This Girl Can at Osterley Park, London.
A protester looks on with a paint on his face during the demonstration. Convened by the Student Union, thousands of high school students have demonstrated in Barcelona with the motto Against sexist violence and Franco's education as a preamble of March 8, International Women's Day. (Photo by Paco Freire / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Civil society activists gathered the less fortunate to mark International Women's Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March 8, 2020. Afghan civil society activists gathered beggars from the streets of Kabul, to mark International Women's Day in Kabul. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Participants hug after around 200 women calling for an end to gender violence formed a "feminist chain" on the eve of International Women's Day in central Mexico City, Saturday, March 7, 2020. Protests against gender violence in Mexico have intensified in recent years amid an increase in killings of women and girls, and women are expected to express their outrage in a march in Mexico City on Sunday. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A woman buys a bouquet of flowers at a flower shop near the railway station on International Women's Day, Sunday, Mar., 8, 2020, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Cha Song Ho)
A man tries to protect himself as masked men attack women's rights activists during a rally on International Women's Day in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan March 8, 2020. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov
Women occupy a street on International Women's Day in Manila, Philippines, March 8, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
A man wearing a protective mask that features a pair of lips poses for a picture during a Women's March to mark International Women's Day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 8, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police officers take part in a march called"Brave Women! Victorious women!" to mark International Women's Day in Managua, Nicaragua March 7, 2020.REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro hugs his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro during a ceremony marking International Women's Day at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 6, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Pay and job roles

When it comes to how much they get paid, women can expect to earn quite a bit less than men on average over their lifetimes.

According to figures in the Office for National Statistics' Human Capital Estimates report, women are paid £380,000 on average over their lifetimes compared with £643,000 for men.

Smiling mature female manager company leader gives handout to diverse employees team at office group meeting, middle aged businesswoman handing paper finanical report to workers at corporate briefing

It also found that women with a master's or PhD degree earned a third less over their lifetimes than men with the same qualifications.

On top of this, the 2019 Hampton-Alexander Review on gender and corporate leadership revealed that of the 100 biggest companies in the UK, just six had female CEOs.

Domestic violence and crime

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), roughly 7.9% of women suffered domestic abuse in England and Wales in 2018 - compared to around 4.2% of men. That is roughly equivalent to 685,000 male victims and 1,300,000 female victims.

In February, the ONS also revealed that the number of women killed by a current or former partner had risen by nearly a third.

According to the figures, 80 women were killed by a partner or ex-partner in the year to March 2019 - up 27% from the previous year.


Currently the proportion of female MPs in the House of Commons stands at 34% - 220 out of 650 - which is an all-time high.

ONE EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING. NO ALTERING OR MANIPULATING. NO USE ON SOCIAL MEDIA UNLESS AGREED BY HOC PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICE. MANDATORY CREDIT: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor Handout photo issued by UK Parliament of former Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid giving a personal statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London, following his resignation from the Cabinet.

However, things could be much better. Internationally, the UK is currently 39th in the world in terms of its proportion of female politicians.

According to the Parliament website, Rwanda has more than 61% female representation while Cuba and Bolivia also have a majority of women in parliament.

Similarly, six of the current members of the Cabinet are women (27%) - down from the highest proportion of women in Cabinet which was 36% between 2006 and 2007.


According to an annual salary survey of salaries by Sporting Intelligence, in the UK, players in the FA Women's Super League were paid an average of £26,752 a year while Premier League stars earn an average of £2.64 million.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 29: Bethany England of Chelsea celebrates scoring their first goal with her team mates during the FA Women's Continental League Cup Final Chelsea FC Women and Arsenal FC Women at City Ground on February 29, 2020 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

In December 2019, a report also found that half of all professional sports clubs in England had no female representation on their boards, and just 8% of board members at professional English sports clubs were female.

The research, conducted by Farrer & Co and reported by Telegraph Sport, found that football clubs had the lowest gender equality, with just 7% female representation on boards.

The Health Service

In the UK, 45% of doctors are women, but according to the Royal College of Surgeons, the ratio of male to female consultant surgeons in the UK is approximately 8:1.

Female doctor and patient talking in exam room

Additionally, GPs have one of the worst gender pay gaps of any profession, with women GPs earning an average of £40,000 a year less than their male colleagues.

Researchers blamed the 35% pay gap on the choice by men to operate as private contractors with the NHS, running their practice as a business.

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