International Women’s Day

“A celebration that was once simple communist propaganda can, and should, be repurposed to celebrate the forces that actually lift people out of poverty and inequality.”

Yes, here it is again.  It always sounds, to my ears, like Earmuffs day, or Quilting Day, or Lips Appreciation day, or Lost Puppy Dog Day. It’s seems unnecessary and mildly patronising: a sort of giant ‘Whatever’ Day.

Not surprisingly, International Women’s Day’s origins were in American socialism and Eastern European communism. It was originally declared by the American Socialist Party in 1909,  Apparently, according to Leon Trotsky, it indirectly triggered a series of events that sparked the Russian February revolution in 1917.

It’s all about equality you see, but the rub is that equality of women is highest in prosperous, capitalist, free market societies. The feminist collectives would of course not understand this but there is massive evidence that this is the case. It is also a reason why people like Julie Bishop dissociates herself from this ideologically bend crowd, as recently seen on ABC’s Q and A.

A timely article was reprinted in The Australian that clarifies the issue.

As compared with men, women in economically freer countries hold more elected seats in government, have longer life expectancies, achieve higher education levels, and earn higher incomes than do women in less economically free countries. In short, in freer economies, women’s lives are longer, more prosperous and more self-directed.

So, there you have it. Nor is it true that this is only because these countries are richer and therefore able to afford more equality.

If we restrict our vision to the poorest countries, the same pattern emerges. Comparing the Fraser and UN data sets, we find that, of the poorest 25 per cent of countries (as measured by per capita GDP), the half that are more economically free achieve more gender equality than do the half that are less economically free. According to the UN’s own numbers, women suffer less inequality in poor, economically free countries than they do in poor, economically unfree countries.

One wonders why so many feminists seems to take the anti-capitalist side of almost any debate whilst also studiously ignoring the women and children in appalling conditions in those countries where freedom plays almost no role.

A landslide of evidence over the past century shows that, regardless of our good intentions, the more we allow governments to control markets, the more poverty and inequality we experience.
There is no better time to note these facts than on International Women’s Day. A celebration that was once simple communist propaganda can, and should, be repurposed to celebrate the forces that actually lift people out of poverty and inequality. The evidence suggests that equality doesn’t come at the end of the government’s gun, but at the end of the free market’s handshake.

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