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Updated: Sep 5

The reason why I decided to write an article about women condition, in particular gender inequality, is because the gap between the rich and the poor just keeps getting bigger and bigger with the combination of this rough economy and Covid-19.

Who do you think is the most impacted?: WOMEN.

I looked online for the definition of the word "woman" and this is what popped up: "an adult female human being" (google).

See, women are the ones giving birth, and yet in 2020 we are still living in a predominant male world.

Women had to fight hard to get the right to vote, go to school, work and have access to executive positions, and chose what is right for THEIR body.

Do you want to know why? Because the majority of the decisions coming from the top are made by men.

I know there has been some progress all over the world over the years, but still....

How many women do you see as President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Secretary of State, Senator, Governor, Deputy..?

The answer is: we are still a minority.

Let me break down the monthly expenses of a woman for you:

- Rent ( I am letting you imagine how much you pay just for a bachelor/studio in a city like Toronto)

- Electricity

- Internet ( and also cable if you have it)

- Insurance ( yes, make sure you subscribe to one even if you are just renting)

- in some countries in Europe, like France for example, you also pay for council tax and water

- Transportation (in a city like toronto, that's a good $100 to $150)

- phone bill

- If you have student loans or credit cards, you have to make your monthly payments

- If the type of doctor's appointment you have is not covered by OHIP or your work insurance, that's extra money

- some people have a gym membership (which is not cheap)

- Lastly the big ones: Groceries, Beauty/personal care products and clothes.

I think everybody knows by now that I am someone who likes to cook and eat at home, which means I know the price of things.

On a weekly basis, I can spend a minimum of $60 to a maximum of $80 at the supermarket ( so basically between $250 to $300 monthly).

And this is just because I live by myself.

Imagine how much a single mother would spend!!!

If I need to add my hair products ( shampoo, conditionner, hair mask), that's another $25-$30. Sometimes I am lucky and they have sales going at the beauty store, so I don't have to pay full price.

If I have to reload my skincare products (facewash, toner, face scrub, mask), that's another $15-$20 coming out of my pocket.

My body products (shower gel, body lotion, hand cream) will cost me about the same.

Can somebody tell me why pads, tampons and pantyliners are so expensive?

Women have their period.

I know the majority of men don't like to hear it, but that's a part of us that we cannot change, and every month, mother nature gives us a big reminder.

Besides all of that, you also need clothes, lingerie, makeup and shoes from time to time right?

And as you get older, you try not to buy cheap stuff that won't last, but invest more in quality stuff right?

With all that said as an opening statement, how do you think we women feel when:

- we get turned down a job just because we are women

-we still hear thjngs like "there are jobs for men and there are jobs for women" (cause sometimes a country's culture and mentality can be so narrow minded!!)

-we get a job but the moment we want more and aspire to become supervisor, manager or director, we have a block of people against us

- we get a job but we learn some short time after that we are being paid less than a man even though we are doing the same amount of work. (If you make $200 or $300 less than a man on a monthlh basis, that's $2400 to $3600 per year!! Imagine what you can do with that money, especially on a rainy day).

Do you know how many celebrities have spoken about "EQUAL PAY"?

When you have women in the sports field (basketball, tennis, soccer, handball....) telling you that they get paid less or have less sponsors because they are women, it hurts!

Same thing goes for the acting world. You just need to compare the salary of a lead actor and a lead actress.

And let me not even talk about the level of harassment that some of the women face on a regular basis, which is why I am so happy for the #MeToo movement.

For years and years, women have been harassed, abused and told to remain silent if they did not want any form of retaliation.

Some of them did so because they were scared nobody would believe them. They were afraid of not being able to find another job and feed their family.

These are the main reasons why you see a lot of women leaving the corporate world one day out of nowhere and deciding to start their own business.

On top of all of that, the life of a black woman is 10 times harder. As a black woman, you have to face a double discrimination.

See, on a pyramid, black women are all the way at the bottom in terms of opportunities, jobs and salary. Women in general make less money than men, but a black woman salary is even lower compared to her white peers.

Try being a black woman and rent or buy a place on your own in a residential area.

Try being a black woman and apply for a loan to start your own business.

When you go to a clothing or cosmetics store, sometimes the sales associates treat you with indifference because you are a black woman and they don't think you have the money to shop.

At times, you have cameras on you because they think you are coming to steal.

And the best of them all: when you go to a job interview, the person in charge of HR thought you lied on your resume about the number of diplomas you have, the number of languages you speak and your work experience.

When they realize you were telling the truth, they go "OH...." as if it's unsual to see an educated black woman.

And you know what pisses me off even more?

When a man says "no!", people regard him as being acertive.

When a black woman puts her foot down and says "NO!", she is wrongfully stereotyped as an "angry black woman" or being "agressive".

We are in 2020, and things need to, NO...., MUST change!!

Marie-Madeleine Mbong

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