Every child deserves to reach her or his full potential, but gender inequalities in their
lives and in the lives of those who care for them hinder this reality.
By SUMIYA BANOO
Gender discrimination, starting in childhood, continues to rob children of their childhoods and limit their chances disproportionately affecting the world’s girls. A girl is far more likely to be denied her rights, kept from school, forced to marry and subjected to violence her voice undervalued, if it’s heard at all. This assault on childhood also deprives nations of the energy and talent they need to progress. Together, we can create a more equal world, right from the start.
GENDER DISCRIMINATION?Gender discrimination is unequal or disadvantageous treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on gender. Sexual harassment is a form of illegal gender discrimination.
GENDER INEQUALITY:-Gender inequality is the social process by which men and women are not treated equally. The treatment may arise from distinctions regarding biology, psychology, or cultural norms prevalent in the society. Some of these distinctions are empirically grounded while others to be socially constructed. Studies show the different lived experiences of genders across many domains including education, life expectancy, personality, interests, family life, careers, and political affiliation. Gender inequality is experienced differently across different cultures and it also affects non-binary people.
CAUSES OF GENDER INEQUALITY:-Gender prejudice and resulting gender discrimination begin in childhood. From the moment they’re born, girls and boys face unequal gender norms regarding expectations and access to resources and opportunities, with lifelong consequences in their homes, schools and communities.
For example, the world’s boys are often encouraged to go to school and get an education to prepare for work, while girls carry heavy household responsibilities that keep them from school, increasing the odds of child marriage and pregnancy.
EFFECT OF GENDER INEQUALITY :-Gender inequity is the product of sexism, which is prejudice or discrimination against people based on their sex or gender. It primarily impacts women and girls, with consequences that begin at birth. Some of the measurable ways that gender inequity affects women globally, in comparison with men include; Lower rates of schooling and employment, Less pay for similar work, Higher levels of stress, Higher rates of unpaid work, such as caring for sick relatives, Exposure to higher rates of sexual assault, intimate partner abuse, and gender-based violence, A lack of representation in government, Some of the ways that sexism affects everyday life include: Sexist remarks, Sexual harassment, Workplace discrimination.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT OF GENDER INEQUALITY:Gender inequality has a profound effect on mental health worldwide. Some of the psychological effects of gender inequality include higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women and people of marginalized genders.
GENDER INEQUALITY EFFECTS EVERYONE:-Gender inequality affects everyone, including men. Stereotypes or ‘rules’ about how women and men, girls and boys should be begin in childhood and follow us through to adulthood. Not everyone experiences inequality the same way. The situation is worse, and often different, for people who face more than one type of discrimination. Some facts about gender inequality in Victoria and how it affects children, young people, adults, and other groups in society.
1:- CHILDREN:- Gender stereotypes affect children’s sense of self from a young age. Boys receive 8 times more attention in the classroom than girls. Girls receive 11% less pocket money than boys. Children classify jobs and activities as specific to boys or girls.
2:- YOUNG PEOPLE:-Gender stereotypes affect behaviour, study choices, ambitions and attitudes about relationships. Girls are less likely to take part in organised sport. Girls are less likely to do advanced maths subjects in their final years of school.
3:- ADULTS:- Victorian women earn 87.6 cents to every dollar earned by men.Although more women than men complete tertiary education, their graduate salaries are lower. 1 in every 2 mothers experiences discrimination during pregnancy, on parental leave or when returning to work.
4:- OLDER PEOPLES:- Women retire with half the superannuation savings of men. This affects women’s financial security, health and wellbeing.More older women are at risk of homelessness than men. Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women’s experience of gender inequality is made worse by the impacts of colonisation and violent dispossession. They are 11 times more likely to die from family violence than other women.
5:- MEN:- Traditional stereotypes are difficult for many men to live up to. They feel pressure to be a ‘real man’, to be physically and emotionally strong, and be the main income earner. Many workplaces don’t offer men extended parental leave or flexible hours. Men are more likely to drink too much, take unhealthy risks and engage in violence.They are less likely to seek professional help or talk about their problems with friends or family. Men are more likely to commit suicide.
6:- RURAL AND REGIONAL WOMEN:- Women living outside of metropolitan areas often do not have access to public services. They are at greater risk of poor health outcomes and family violence. Trans and gender diverse people. Trans and gender diverse people may feel forced to hide their gender identity when using services, at school or at work.They are at greater risk of mental illness, verbal and physical abuse and social exclusion.
7:-WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES:- Women with disabilities are more likely to experience family violence and sexual assault.They are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. They are paid less than men with disabilities and women without disabilities
SOME EXAMPLES OF GENDER INEQUALITY
1. EDUCATION:- Less than 40 percent of countries offer girls and boys equal access to education and only 39percent of countries have equal proportions of the sexes enrolled in secondary education. By achieving universal primary and secondary education attainability in the adult population, it could be possible to lift more than 420 million people out of poverty. This would have its greatest effect on women and girls who arethe most likely to never have stepped foot inside a school. Even once girls are attending school, discrimination follows. One in four girls states that they never feel comfortable using school latrines. Girls are at greater risk of sexual violence, harassment and exploitation inschool. School-related gender-based violence is another major obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls.
2.ILLITERACY:-There are approximately 774 million illiterate adults in the world and two-thirds of them arewomen. There are approximately 123 million illiterate youths and 61 percent of them are girls. Women’sshare in the illiterate population has not budged in 20 years. These facts not only affect women but theirchildren as well.
3.CHILD MARRIAGE:-Globally, almost 750 million women and girls alive today married before their eighteenthbirthday. Those who suffer from child marriage often experience early pregnancy which is a key factor in thepremature end of education. As mothers and wives, girls become socially isolated and are at an increased riskfor domestic violence. Child marriage is one the most devastating examples of gender inequality, as it limitswomen’s opportunities and their abilityto reach their fullindividual potential.
STEPS TO ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY
1-TALK TO WOMEN AND GIRLS:-A fundamental reason we have not yet achieved gender equality in every realm is that women and girls’ voices are too often excluded from global and national decision-making.
2.LET GIRLS USE MOBILE PHONES:-The majority of girls in India don’t have access to using basic technology such as phones and computers because of infrastructure related challenges and economic reasons.
3- STOP CHILD MARRIAGE AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT:- If we want girls to be able to complete education we have to end child marriage. We also have to seriously address sexual harassment of girls.
4. MAKE EDUCATION GENDER SENSITIVE:- There has been much progress in increasing access to education, but progress has been slow in improving the gender sensitivity of the education system, including ensuring textbooks promote positive stereotypes.
5. RAISE ASPIRATIONS OF GIRLS AND THEIR PARENTS: We need to give girls images and role models that expand their dreams.
6. EMPOWER MOTHER’S:-When mothers are educated and empowered to make choices in their lives, they enable their daughters to go to school.
7. GIVE PROPER VALUE TO “WOMEN’S WORK” :-The unpaid work women and girls do provide the foundation for the global economy. This fact needs to be highlighted more in the media, with the private sector, and in communities.
8.GET WOMEN INTO POWER:- A proven way to overcome many systemic barriers to a woman’s success has been increased participation by women in local, regional and national legislation as empowered change agents.
CONCLUSION:- EVERY GIRL AND BOY DESERVES AN EQUAL CHANCE TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE.
SUMIYA BANOO BSC STUDENT FROM GOVT. DEGREE COLLEGE BHADERWAH EMAIL:- firstname.lastname@example.org