The Quest for an Equitable World
Updated: Jun 25
Growing up, I asked a lot of questions.
‘Why has my country, Nigeria, never had a female president?’
‘Why do I only see men talk about politics on TV?’
‘Why do people say it is a girl's job to cook and clean?’
‘Why don't girls have access to things boys have?’
‘Why are girls given so many rules on how to dress, talk, and behave, but never boys?’
I didn't know what Gender Equality was, I just knew something wasn't right with the way society discriminated against women. I needed answers. I needed more female representation on my screen. I needed to know that as a woman, I could be president and anything I dreamed of. I didn't see why a boy was more heard simply because he was a boy. I wanted, needed even, fair treatment.
As a girl you may have asked the same questions, pondered the same thoughts, and had the same reservations.
As a boy, you may have heard the same questions, and maybe even asked them as well.
Somehow, these questions are constant and glaring, so it is only right that we talk about them.
When we talk about Gender Equality, we talk about the elimination of all forms of discrimination, the access to resources and opportunities, and the participation of everyone in leadership and decision-makingHow positions, regardless of gender.
Gender Equality is Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals. You might wonder, why does it need to be a goal? Well, gender equality is the foundation of a sustainable and developed world - an equitable world.
Through the years, Gender Equality has become a necessary topic. The reason the question, ‘how can we achieve gender equality?’ is asked so often and in every sphere of life is simple -for too long, the presence of inequality has been obvious. Women have often taken the fallen side of the weighing scale, thus, it is no wonder that topics on equality revert to the role of women in society. In this article, we’ll take a look at the importance of providing opportunities for women, in a quest for an equitable world.
Women have been deprived of opportunities over the years.
In workplaces, the gender pay gap has been a historical issue, with women being paid less than their male counterparts, usually for doing the same job. Statistically, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes only 77 cents. Income Inequality exists because the work of women is undervalued. The income inequality suffered by women of color is a whole other conundrum. The voices of women have been suppressed. Women have been historically underrepresented and are hardly ever given seats of power. The contributions of women to world issues are hardly regarded. Furthermore, in some societies, women are still seen as and expected to be homebodies, having no real value except being a caregiver.
With these issues come solutions. The talk on Gender Equality has brought about a quota system for women where they are given a percentage of representation. In 2011, a new law was enacted in Nigeria which implemented a 35% quota for women in politics. While this is a good call for women'sis inclusion, it still has an underlying problem of handpicking the amount of representation women deserve when in fact, inclusion should be equitable and fair to all humans alike. Having more women in decision-making positions can potentially mean that the best interest of women's issues are treated accordingly.
It is necessary to remember that Gender Equality benefits everyone.
Gender equality is needed in all facets of society, from educationcurb to offices, the economy, leadership positions and so on.
Women should be given a seat, not a chance at the table, metaphorically and literally.
The simple fact that women are as human as any human can be, is more than enough reason for us to have access to every opportunity. That should be reason enough for Gender Equality.
But beyond the seemingly uncomplicated reasoning behind the push for non-discrimination, gender equality also acts as a means to curbing violence and oppression against women and girls. Oppression and suppression come from financial subjugation and financial subjugation arises when women and girls have no financial freedom, unlike their male counterparts.
Another adverse effect of the point above is that the drastic reduction in violence will in turn lead to a healthier environment and society at large. In most parts of the world, women and girls are deprived of education and given off to early marriages. The issues of the abuse of women andisfinancial oppression are put in check when women get the same access to education and information. This allows society to become safer for women to live their lives at full potential, thus bringing about development.
‘Two heads are better than one’. You’ve heard this phrase, perhaps you’ve used it. Gender Equality, an equitable world for everyone, will bring more gain to society. When fair access to opportunities are given, the world is a better place.
Side Note: We need to understand that Gender Equality is a big deal that should be treated as such. That’s why we need all hands on deck to achieve it!
So, what can you do on this quest for an equitable world?
Check out our Do More prompts and educate yourself with our Read More prompts below ⬇️
1. Share the Gender Equality message
Talk to people about gender equality; the need for it, the effects it has on society, the benefits and so on. After all, charity begins at home right?
Remember that your silence has just as much of an impact as believing a gender-based stereotype. Don't hesitate to correct these stereotypes.
3. Seek out ways to recruit women
Go out of your way to share any opportunities you have with women, and don't forget to compensate them fairly.
4. As a woman, develop yourself and never be afraid to take on opportunities.
Check out the following links to find opportunities for women;
Join The Bloom Newsletter
Check out InHerSight for women-rated jobs, career advice
5. Educate yourself! Read more about gender equality, it's many facets and the things you can do to achieve it. Feel like you haven't done much? You're here and you're learning more! Now check out our Read More section
WRITTEN BY Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest.
Queen 'Kwyn' Ernest is a writer, reader, serial volunteer and a few more things in-between. She is passionate about writing and speaking on social education, for children, teenagers and young adults because she believes 'our psyche is our life'. She detests hurtful societal stereotypes and hopes to change it, ten words at a time. When she's neither writing, reading nor volunteering she's trying to figure out life and living, overthinking or speaking her messy Spanish and pretending like she can act.
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EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
Zulu is a writer, self proclaimed bibliophile and lawyer passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities.
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