Today in the twenty-first century, we have been granted a lot of liberties. Most people around the world are at liberty to live as they please. Geopolitical barriers are becoming friendlier by the day, and the advancement of technology means we are more connected than ever. We are, as a whole, a much more accepting global society than we were even a few decades back. Premarital sex is hardly a taboo any more, and homosexuality is neither an illness nor a perversion, but simply a way of life.
All said and done, even today, many corners across the world heatedly debate the issue of gender equality. In societies across the world, one sex is considered superior while the other is looked down upon, for no apparent reason. What these people fail to understand is the fact that gender equality is not an option in modern society anymore. Before we discuss the importance of gender equality, take this quick poll:
Why gender equality is important?
Better utilization of resources
In many cultures in the world, particularly the heavily patriarchal ones, there is usually a clear distinction between the sexes in terms of profession. Traditionally in these societies, women are pushed toward the finer arts whereas men are expected to opt for the more ‘masculine’ professions, such as engineering and medicine.
It has been seen, in many cases, where men who work as nurses are discriminated against as not being masculine enough. This kind of social pressure leads many to opt for professions that are not really their calling, which in turn translates to waste of resources, as people are forced to work in jobs they don’t excel.
Gender equality would get rid of this issue by ensuring that one chooses their profession without being subjected to social prejudice.
When an employer practices gender discrimination, it cannot be good for anyone, and least of all for the organization. Promoting an employee over a more capable one on the basis of gender has manifold implications: the discriminated employee is unhappy, which leads to decreased productivity, which in turn affects the organization’s overall performance.
On the other hand, having a less capable person in a more responsible position leads to organizational mayhem. In the end, the employer benefits the least. Moreover, if an employer discriminates between the sexes, there is a chance that they would be employing more people of their preferred gender, or, would employ the other gender at a far lower pay.
In either case, the scope of getting capable employees is cut down by half, in the best case scenario.
Also read: Importance of Feminism
A better life
If we look at a country like Afghanistan, we find women in a pitiful condition. That is because of the inequality that exists in their extant culture. While the situation is not as horrific in other cultures, there is still this kind of intangible bases of discrimination present in many others.
In most parts of India, for instance, women known to have been potentially involved in any kind of sexual scenario- consensual or otherwise- find it tough to get married. This is because of the belief that the woman with sexual experience is ‘polluted’. On the other hand, a man is expected, and sometimes indulged, to engage in sexual experiences as a bachelor.
Moreover, domestic abuse on women is pretty rampant because of the belief that women are the weaker sex and can hence be blamed for almost anything. Gender equality would help get rid of such issues and ensure a better life for the oppressed sex.
End to stereotyping
In most cultures across the world, men are seen as the primary caregivers, while women are traditionally the homemakers. Even today, this stereotyping of social roles is highly present. A man who wants to be a homemaker is subject to ridicule, while women are expected to give more priority to the home than their career, failing which she is considered ‘unfeminine’ and ‘unmarriageable’.
Even today, spinsters are more looked down upon the bachelors, with the unspoken belief that there is something amiss with a woman for not being married. Such stereotyping leads to manifold sacrifices made by both genders for no good reason.
Moreover, this is psychologically damaging, as the man who earns less than his wife feels inferior, and the woman who has to spend more time at work feels incapable and insecure.
Gender equality is not a question up for debate. It is something that should be adopted as a way of life. In many countries, women are still not allowed to own property, and their signatures are invalid on legal documents if unaccompanied by the signature of a man.
Women still face inadequate representation politically, and in many regions, it is hard for women to come by legal help. It is important to understand that differences between the two sexes are not a basis for holding one on a pedestal and trampling on the other. Men and women are both human, and deserve the same treatment in the same circumstance.