Published On: Wed, Mar 13th, 2019

Gender Inequality: What Can You Do To Balance The Difference?

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On a global level, the fight for gender equality continues. And while great strides have been taken, with women saying ‘no’ to inequality and sexual harassment with the #metoo movement, and attempts to forge a more gender-balanced world with the raised awareness provided by organized events supporting International Women’s Day, we still have a long way to go.


As examples of gender inequality still happening today, consider the following.

  • There is a lack of educational opportunities in developing countries. On a global level, girls are still not being offered equal access to education when compared to their male counterparts. The reasons why are complex and often linked to poverty and cultural norms, meaning girls are not expected to pursue educational opportunities for financial and domestic reasons. There have been improvements in girls education in developing countries, but there is still a long way to go, both in eradicating poverty and changing the way women’s roles are perceived.
  • There is sexism in schools within developed countries. According to the study within this UK tabloid,  teachers are still stereotyping boys and girls, meaning less girls are encouraged to pursue courses pertaining to male-dominated careers. And there have been many cases of sexual harassment for both female pupils and teachers alike. In so-called developed countries, we should expect better!
  • There is still a pay gap in the workforce. In both developed and developing countries, there is still unequal pay for women in the workplace. In the United States, for example, research suggested that women earned around 79 cents for each dollar that men earned, with the gap becoming even worse for women of color. Is there a good reason for this? No, not really, as in most cases, this is down to unfair discrimination and the lack of respect afforded women when compared to their male counterparts.
  • Many Hollywood movies are still male-dominated. Take a look at the latest cinema releases, and consider the leading actors. In the majority of cases, it is men who take the lead; well, unless you are talking about domestic dramas and movie romances. There has been a change; Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman offered rare lead roles for women in superhero movies, and there are often strong female roles in Bollywood, but improvements still need to be made, not only for today’s female actresses, but to also provide women with better role models on our cinema screens.
  • Women still face cultural restrictions. The U.N. is trying to push for social progress and the empowerment of women in Middle Eastern and North African countries, but there are still debilitating examples of gender discrimination due to cultural norms. Again, this includes a lack of educational opportunities, and as seen in the linked article, women also face restrictions on clothing, travel, and legal rights. And perhaps more frighteningly, and also discussed within the linked article, women also face genital mutilation and the deplorable practice of honor killing. This needs to be stopped!

So, what can be done to instigate a bigger change within gender equality? Well, there is a long way to go, but action is better than inaction. And while there is work going on around the world to bring about change, we are also talking about you. Be you a male or a female reader, these are just a few of the things you can do to make a difference.

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  • Fight gender stereotypes at home. Should you be a parent, there is much you can do with your children. You can treat both boys and girls equally. You can role model PC behavior within your relationships and attitudes. And you can encourage the girls in your family to follow their dreams, allowing them to pursue courses of education and job roles, no matter how male-dominated they may be at the moment.
  • Stand up for yourself. Should you be a female reader, then know this: You don’t have to accept sexism in your home or the workplace. Take note of the women who throughout history have fought for equality, and pave your own way forward. Challenge your partner if he shows any signs of sexism. Stand up for yourself at work, be that with your boss or your male colleagues. And don’t accept put down comments from anybody, be that to do with the way you look or the way you work.
  • Have a voice. You have a voice when you stand up for yourself in front of others, but there are other ways to let your voice be heard. For example, you might attend local government events and speak out against any areas of gender inequality in your neighborhood. You might become a school governor, as this will give you the means to take a stand against sexism in schools. And you could create your own website; your avenue to highlight areas of injustice, be that locally or globally. You can then share links to your website on social media to spread awareness of the issues you are trying to represent.
  • Stand up for the women around you. Not everybody has the courage to raise their voice, so you might decide to raise your voice in support of others. If you see a female colleague suffer harassment at work, defend them, and help them take further action against the instigator. If you notice prejudice in the street, on the bus, in the supermarket, or indeed anywhere within the world that you frequent, stand up for the women being treated unjustly. Of course, you do need to protect yourself – you don’t want to risk harm to yourself – but the least you can do is offer an arm of solidarity, and you might speak to the authorities in defence of somebody who may have been harmed by another.
  • Be a good role model. We already suggested this with regards to your role as a parent. However, if you have any other kind of standing, use your position to allow for gender equality. So, if you run a business, for example, you might offer equal rights to both your male and female workers. You might reject bias when going through the hiring process. And you might speak to both sexes with the respect they deserve. Should you be a teacher, you should encourage boys and girls to take the same subjects. You should encourage them to follow the careers they are interested in. And you should stick up for the rights of both sexes when engaged in meetings with your peers. Whoever you are, whatever you are in society, be a role model to highlight change.
  • Support a charity. Could you give money to a charity? Could you raise money on their behalf? Could you promote what they do through an event or on your website? In so many ways, you could get involved with any one of these charities, each one promoting the rights of girls and women across the world. From those that deal with issues of global inequality to charities that deal with women’s rights on a local level, choose something that means something to you, and be a passionate advocate for a worthy cause.
  • Vote for women in politics. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to vote for a female politician if you are against her policies and values. However, if you are in any way sitting on the fence, and your vote could go either way, then consider standing up for the female candidate. There are not enough women in power within government across the globe, so encourage change by voting for those people who might be able to instigate it. You might also stand up for local government yourself! This is an excellent way to raise your voice against injustice, in all of its forms, and as a leader, you might be in the prime position to make a difference, even if it’s only in your locale.
  • Get involved with a gender equality campaign. There are all kinds of movements you can get behind, including #Metoo, the International Women’s Rights days each year, and the excellent gender equality campaigns here.  Share information on your website or on social media to support them, attend organized events, and take part in marches to show your solidarity. These campaigns are changing both laws and mindsets, and by getting involved, you are part of the process that is changing the world for the better.

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In 2019, we still haven’t seen an end to gender inequality on a local or a global level. In many workplaces, men still hold more positions of power than women do. On a cultural level, women are still being abused and mistreated. Our schools are still responsible for enforcing gender stereotypes. And in many homes across the world, these stereotypes are being perpetuated. Sure, there have been changes. The many women’s rights movements are making a difference. The tide is turning within Hollywood and other major institutions. But the fight goes on. There is still more that needs to be done. So, for you, be you a man or a woman, do your bit to make things better. Offer your voice and show your solidarity. Be a role model that symbolises change. The tide is turning, slowly, but with your participation, the shift towards gender equality will happen sooner rather than later.

Take care, and thanks for reading!

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