Our topic is “OUR GENDERS: COLLABORATION OVER COMPETITION”. But before we dive in fully, we’re going to need to set our mindset right.
What is Gender Equality?
First of all, remove the thought that it is about women.
Don’t fight me yet. It’s not about women, so remove that from your head
Gender-based violence involves violence towards an individual because of the individual’s biological sex or gender identity.
Gender inequality occurs when we give certain privileges or different opportunities purely based on gender.
Then, GENDER DISCRIMINATION involves the prejudicial treatment of an individual purely based on gender.
What is Gender itself?
Currently, gender is a much broader spectrum. We’d be using majorly male or female today. Gender equality is a state where people of all gender have equal rights, opportunities, privileges and responsibilities. Notice the use of responsibilities. It’s not just about what we should be gaining but the value we give as well. We direct our minds to think towards all gender. It starts from there. Our mindsets.
Gender identity is one personal conception of themselves either as a male, a female, rarely either of those or both. So, the term Gender in itself is an objective one, in the sense that it depends on the individual and not necessarily your personal perception.
There are a variety of ways which gender inequality can manifest itself.
IN EDUCATION – UNEQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION.
Women and men inclusive suffer from this, although percentages show that a higher percentage of women are not allowed access to certain levels of education. Restrictions to certain levels of education for both men and women. Women told to sit and “take care of the house” or men told to farm. It affects every one of us.
UNEQUAL ACCESS TO POLITICAL POSITION
It’s no news that women in the political spectrum are viewed a certain kind of way and not always in a positive light. They are also extremely underrepresented. Over the past few years, a few women have been able to break the glass ceiling and show us that even with the opposition they can get through it. Our very own Okonjo Iweala or the current US vice president, Kamala Harris.
UNEQUAL ACCESS TO JOB OPPORTUNITIES.
In some organizations, preferences are given to aid men get through rather than women. In some scenarios, it’s the other way around. It is sometimes believed that men are more suited to certain jobs or women to certain jobs, take civil engineering. For instance, I’ve heard that men are better to do the job but if a woman can do it let the playing field be levelled such that she does what she can and at her best. Sometimes, in a bid to promote the so-called gender equality we preach we forget that we’re practicing same gender inequality by maligning the opportunities of men in certain job positions. “Only 6 countries in the world give women the same legal work rights as men”. In fact, most economies give women only ¾ the rights of men. Studies show that if employment became a more even playing field, it has a positive domino effect on other areas prone to gender inequality” excerpt from a site.
INEQUALITY IN LAW AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
A lot of women don’t have as much legal protection and defense in some criminal cases. Take rape, for instance, the victims are often the ones to take the blame for a crime committed against them and let’s not even forget the neglect that goes on for their cases.
On the other hand, men who are victims of rape aren’t often paid much attention to possibly. This is because of the inherent belief of “he’s a man”. In war or civil crisis situations, women are raped, yes. But men are also tortured and lose their sense of free will. Everyone is equally affected in their own way, so No, it’s not just about you.
We should promote equality without judgement.
Gender equality is a broad spectrum, and understanding that it’s not just about women or just about men is a place to start.
The subject is really touchy sometimes. We feel it’s a competition, always fighting about who is more oppressed or who they are giving more attention to. It’s not a competition on who is more oppressed or who is more privileged. The aim should be to erase the oppression completely.
So forget about, women are more oppressed.
Women are raped more.
Forget men have been forgotten.
Set your emotions in the right direction as well.
Work towards eliminating the vices wherever you find them, be it for men or for women.
Our agenda tonight is not focused on whether women have more rights than women or not. Also, it’s not about whether men have more rights than women or not.
So I will be using some examples to support some of the points she made. I hope you are still reading through.
Jide and Titi applied for a secretary position in a company. They both went for the interview. On getting there, Jide noticed that Titi was more favoured because she is a lady. Lo and behold, Titi was employed.
Let’s look at another case, Shade and Bayo applied for the position of mechanical engineer in a company. They also both went for the interview. On getting there, Shade noticed that Bayo was more favoured. In fact, their employer when interviewing them said to Shade that “Don’t you know that this is men’s work? Why did you study mechanical engineering in school? “Your chance of getting a job in this is really slim” and indeed, Bayo was employed.
Gender inequality is really evident when it comes to choosing a career especially in this country and it is making some people both men and women not go for the course they really want to study and become.
From an emotional side: Do you know that gender inequality also plays a role in emotions and this also occurs at home, what do I mean by this?
What about this, Tunde and Shade just came back from school and on getting home they could smell a tantalizing aroma coming from the kitchen, so they quickly rush towards it and on they saw that their mother has dished their food so they quickly rushed towards but they realize that one is much than the other so they asked their mother which one is for either, to this, their mother responded, “The bigger one is for Tunde since he is the male and he eats much / the bigger one is for Shade since she is the female and she helps me in this house more than you”. How do you think either of them will feel depending on the response being given?
In another instance, Kola and Bola went with their mother to a shopping mall and they both saw a shoe which is unisex and they both started arguing about it and when their mother tries to resolve it she said, “leave it for your brother, he is the male of the house”. How do you think Bola will feel?
Read our last discussion here: An Extra Mite to The Future
Gender inequality is really occurring in various aspects of life and we can continue to talk about it till tomorrow but let’s look at the ways or steps we can take to reduce if possible to eradicate gender inequality in our society/ country.
Steps To Eradicating Gender Inequality.
This starts with you and I for we are also part of the society, so let’s go through it together.
- Give more acknowledgement about accomplishment than physical attributes: Too often, we compliment females about our beauty more than our capabilities. I could remember a day I was on my way to my hostel. I passed by two guys discussing, one of them was telling his friend about a lady he met that day, who was really good in graphic designing and the response his friend gave him was, “Is she beautiful?”, Though his friend admonished him playfully that’s what we are talking about. When speaking about the female gender, very often, little attention is paid to their capabilities.
- Be friends with people of both genders: But, don’t allow there to be emotional entanglement, I believe we understand.
- Parental duty: Gender equality/ inequality begins at home. Family plays a very role in the society. They are at the front line of change. So as a parent, there is so much work to do. Talk about gender equality with your kids. Share domestic work equally at home. Empower your kids to speak out. Don’t be biased toward them. Encourage them and make them understand that they are not defined by how they look, but by how they act. Make them be confident in their uniqueness and capabilities.
- Acknowledge and help both women and men who are victims of domestic violence: We tend to believe that only women who are victims of domestic violence needs and not men as well why? Because they are men and they are supposed to be macho and this shouldn’t be. The same help a female victim is being given should also be given to a male victim.
- Look for opportunities in all your areas of interest, regardless of gender expectations: Do you have an interest in a skill, a job? Then go for it, don’t be limited because of the view or opinion of the society. Some people see some job opportunity but because of their opinion that it’s based on gender, they didn’t apply for it, which shouldn’t don’t let it be a setback.
- Promote gender equality: We are all involved, what do I mean by this? I don’t know if you have come across some sentence like this in a movie or novel “she is a man in a woman’s body”, “she works like a man”, “if only she is to be a man”, “she is not my daughter, she is my son”, “why are you wearing a pink coloured shirt? Pink colour is for ladies” and so on. All these are also promoting gender inequality, people tend to emulate whatever they see, watch or read, so as a writer, do write with the mind of encouraging gender equality.
- And last but not the least, Build your self-esteem: I have heard these statements several times “how I wish I am a woman/ a man”, “if only I could change my gender”. Why? If you don’t love yourself then how do you expect others to do so? “You are addressed, the way you dress”. But it’s not only about dressing but also the way you present yourself and don’t ever put yourself or others down because of gender. It doesn’t mean that you have to start a campaign. Even with those who are around. You see a friend of yours who is being biased because of gender, talk to him/her. Are you boss or CEO and you see your employee being biased? Then don’t hesitate in correcting them and always make your opinion known about gender equality. Network with others who are promoting gender equality.
We’d be drawing the curtain of this discussion closed from our side Do go through it.
- Give more acknowledgement about accomplishment than physical attributes.
- Parental duty.
- Acknowledged and help women and men who are victims of domestic violence.
- Look for opportunities in all your areas of interest, regardless of gender expectations.
- Promote gender equality.
- Build your self esteem.
What do we do when we find ourselves in situations that doesn’t portray equality?
We control our emotions and not act solely based on them. There can be a drive in the right direction though. We should properly analyse the situation and work out a strategy to properly address it rightly.
Group Member: But sometimes the environment is so toxic.
HoneyDrops: This is also true. If we act on emotions alone. The situation can get offensive real quick
THIS ARTICLE WAS CURATED BY ABIOLA OLAWUYI AND OLUWATOYIN ADEYANJU.
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Disclaimer: Images were sourced from Pinterest and on Google Images.