How to promote gender equality? What is the true meaning of equality?
I'd like to start by saying thanks ppos reny for requesting this Hub from me!
Men and women are not the same. They may be equal, but they are not the same.
Of course there are biological differences, including a wider corpus callosum in women's brains that may result in a greater ability to use both sides of the brain... thus the supposed "women's intuition." That claim, however, is often disputed and rather controversial.
Also, all women are not the same, as all men aren't either. Women may take on more masculine qualities, men may have feminine traits, and some do very well being more androgynous.
Overall, men and women should be treated with respect to their biological differences, but not ones that society creates. People should not assume that women are submissive and fragile, and should thus treat them as such, nor should we expect men to be the protectors and breadwinners. We should assume that men and women are capable of the same things. However, this is often not the case
The one thing people can do to promote gender equality is to stop rewarding gendered communication, thinking, and behavior. It is clear that men and women generally act in certain ways, only because of the positive reactions from society they receive for acting as such. For instance, men are praised and admired for being stronger, more aggressive, and less talkative about their feelings, while women are expected to care for children and to be beautiful superwomen who can do anything - including housework - effortlessly. Sarah Palin is a great example; don't you think she would have been less popular if she wasn't so pretty and if she didn't have a baby on her hip while she campaigned?
It's difficult to reverse what one has learned through gender models, social learning, and other experiences from childhood. We have learned the gender roles in our societies, and many of us have tried to conform to those roles so as to avoid censure and rejection. Men are generally attracted to more feminine women while women tend to go more more masculine males for this reason, not to mention sociobiological reasons that say men want nurturing women to raise their children, men should sow their seeds as much as possible to ensure the survival of their genes, men should be strong to support a family, and so on.
However, now is as good of a time as ever to challenge those roles. Women are running for president, and people support them. Men are having babies while many women decide they don't want babies at all until their careers have taken off through the second shift. The lines are blurring more and more, and we can encourage it and in others and maybe even ourselves.
- UNICEF - Gender equality - Introduction
- Gender Equality Factsheet: State of World Population 2005 - UNFPA
- Promoting Gender Equality : United Nations Population Fund
Gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right. Empowering women is an indispensable tool for advancing development and reducing poverty.
- Gender: Equality between men and women- ILO, International Labour Organization
ILO: International Labour Organization - The International Labour Organization is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights
- Gender equality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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