When people say that, I usually point out that even if women are equal in this country, they certainly aren't in other countries. For instance, those where women are imprisoned for being raped (e.g. Libya), those where they can't travel without their father's/husband's permission (e.g. Afghanistan), those where girls are more likely to be raped than get an education (e.g. South Africa). And while women are treated as an underclass ANYWHERE, feminism is still needed.
For some reason some people (on here and IRL) seem to then go "oh, other countries " as if they are fantasy places that should be none of my concern
Well if it's still happening anywhere then some tosser in this country can look at that situation and think, mmm, let's try that over here. It needs to be gone everywhere. While sexism still exists, our rights are hanging by a thread.
1100 directors of FTSE 100 companies 134 are female. Is there one or two members of the cabinet that are female? We make up over 50% of the population, yet are a tiny minority of the powerful decision makers.
My usual answer to that sort of comment is to agree "Oh yes, now that rape, equal pay, equal representation and the right to walk down the road without being harassed has been sorted out we're all equal"
I agree with GrimmaTheNome's comment that equality of the sexes does not yet exist, in practice.
There are sex equality laws. There are also race equality laws and sexual identity laws. The legislation has not completely removed discrimination, in practice.
Equality in practice will occur only after the attitudes of ordinary people change.
I often encounter white or heterosexual people who know that racism and homophobia still exist in society, showing that personal experience is not necessary to know of the existence of inequality. However, they are very often unaware that sexism also still exists. Even worse, many even deny that sexism exists, when examples are described to them.
I guess I'm thinking of a more general 'liberation from gender roles' that goes beyond 'achieving' equality with men, and maybe questions whether the current situation for men is really one we want to emulate.
Also maybe some things like abortion rights, women's autonomy in childbirth etc where equality with men isn't really applicable.
Also - while the stats about how many women are in positions of power in the present system, true equality for me is also about being equally valued for things that are defined as feminine. So, for example, when DH was being paid a pittance for working in a care home (at which he was outstanding but sneered at) but hugely financially rewarded for running a business which manufactured and imported what I could only describe as fripperies, I still think feminism has work to do. Add to that the whole SAHM thing, the excessive grooming thing, the invisibility as one ages thing...
As Grimma says, the rights in law do not necessarily equate to any real equality in practice.