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Causes of Gender Inequality
What are causes of Gender Inequality in the world?
A long time ago, female gender is not regarded as 'anything serious' in any way. Christians who must have read a particular passage in the Bible should have come across a part on a census in Bethlehem. The census had it that only men were recorded without any female gender. Again, when Jesus Christ fed multitude in the Bible, it was recorded that only five thousand men were fed. The question is, what of the women who were also fed on that day? Why did the Bible record only men without including the women? The simple answer is because the Jews did not consider the female in counting. The women were not considered as being important and useful existence and all these centers on gender inequality. Though the instance that was given came from the Jews; yet women inequality is also observed in some other parts of the world. It is a challenge facing the world's women.
What is gender inequality? I searched through all the dictionaries to see the definition of 'gender inequality' but saw nothing of such phrase. Again, I told a friend to check the meaning through his dictionary and he saw no definition of the phrase. Gender simply implies sex, which is either male or female. Inequality means the state of not being equal or not treated equally. Gender inequality from the definition of the two different words is the state of not treating the male and female genders equally or the situation where the male and female are not given equal perspectives. In many countries, financial youth empowerment which is a type of youth empowerment is given mainly to the male gender than the female gender because the men are seen as being more important than the female. But, to be frank, this old mentality must be eliminated in the present world for us to develop more.
In the history of United State of America, how many times have female gender occupy the Presidential post of the country? This is evidence that gender inequality is practiced in the country. It is one of the challenges in the United States though not a major one. The number of female genders that occupies leadership positions in the United States of America is more when compared with that of many African countries.
The unequal treatment given to the female gender in respect to the male gender has many causes. Why do men outnumber the female in the government of many countries? The simple answer is because the males are seen as superior to the females. What was the proportion of men to women in 2007 in Nigerian National Assembly? Out of 109 senators in the Senate House, there were only nine women in their midst. This means that the proportion of the women in the Senate was 8.26% and that of men was 91.74 % in 2007. This is one of the major challenges in Nigeria as well as a problem in the general Africa Continent. In that same year, there were about 27 women in the House of Representative out of 360 members of the House (Nigeria). The truth remains that the unfair treatment given to the female gender are more in African continent unlike that found in Europe.
Causes of Gender Inequality
Gender inequality which in this context implies unfair treatment given to female gender with respect to the male has many causes. Its causes include culture and tradition, religion, lack of empowerment, mentality, and inadequate education.
Culture and tradition: Culture can simply be defined as the way of life of a particular society or ethnic group, and tradition is the custom or belief of a society. Honestly, these two words are one of the reasons that make females to be regarded as nothing in most African countries. It is hard to enter any community in Igbo land (an ethnic group in Nigeria) and see a female ruling any community. Why is it so? An answer to the question is because it is observed as an abomination for any female to rule when there are capable men in that community who can be leaders in such community. The elders of the community do not like hearing about female leadership not to talk more of having a female as a leader. Having men as the only leaders in some communities is part of their life as they see it as a normal thing. In order to see both the female and male gender as equal, there should be a serious revival in some cultures and traditions.
Religion: In the world of today, so many people have developed bias attitude toward religion because they recently found out that so many religious groups are causing harm to human race instead of making it a better place for all. Some teachings in some religions has cause more pains than peace to the world.
It is good to belong to any religious group but the truth remains that some of these religions do not give freedom to the weaker sex. Do you think that it is good to scrap (remove) religion from the surface of the earth? No, because religion plays important role in directing the masses on how to live good lives for peace and unity to exist. Notwithstanding the fact that religion plays important role in the life of every man, there are weaknesses in certain religion because of some act as cages to females. In Islam for example, movement of many women is restricted not even to think of occupying political positions. Only the wise, educated, rational, and dynamic ladies that belong to this religious group breakout from the barrier. It is good to belong to a religious group and better if you know what is right to do as an individual irrespective of any religious group.
Lack of Empowerment: Women are still regarded as nothing in some parts of the world because there are no women empowered. Understanding the importance of youth empowerment where more attention will be paid in empowering most female gender will curb the issue of female gender inequality. The government of every country should understand the importance of training and development and make effort to train the female which then will “give birth” to proper development; and hence reduces female gender inequality. I believe that women can take over the stage if they are empowered, but, how many individual organizations organize seminars for women empowerment? Selfish politicians who are occupying political posts in some countries do not think of this because they look down on women and do not want to see them as part of decision makers in Government Houses. When women are encouraged, they are given the sense of belonging, and this can bridge the large gap between the proportions of the women to men in the governance of various countries.
Mentality: Many people are still going on with certain archaic (outdated) mentalities that never will any lady or woman rule them in any organization. This old mentality is one of the key causes of the less respect given to women in some societies. Also, many women have the mentality that it is not possible for them to occupy top positions in politics and other areas. They have the mentality that leaders are only meant to be men and not the women. This old mentality induces fear in them and makes them reluctant instead of working hard to be registered as big boss of some top companies.
Lack of proper education: There is a saying: “education is power to success”. Based on this topic, lack of proper education is the cause of gender inequality as nobody can go far in this modern world without good education. Yes, it is hard for any female to be recognised without proper and adequate education given to her. It is painful that many families do not pay good attention to their female children because the families do not see them as being very valuable to them when compared with the male. In some countries for example, families spend money in training the male gender than the female because they see the female as liability (not being of good advantage).
According to Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base (GID-DB), 67 percent of the female gender in Africa undergo primary education behind 72.6 of the male gender. They (families) believe that if females are trained educationally and they get married later, they (the family) will gain nothing as all the money she makes becomes that of the husband and her new family. This is the reason that the percentage of educated men is more than that of the female in certain countries. When women are not educated, they will find it difficult to attain a top position as they cannot represent organizations very well without being equipped educationally. Governments of all countries should understand the importance of education to nations which should include both the male and the female education.
There are many advocates of gender equality. Discussed in this note are the causes of gender inequality in many nations of the world and they include lack of education, mentality, weak empowerment, religion, and culture and traditions. Parents should train their children, both male and female educationally and equally. Partial support given to women should stop and government and individuals should organize women empowerment programs in many countries to reduce the unfair treatment given to women. There are some traditions that really require rebranding to meet what the current society needs. Without this rebranding, gender inequality in many African countries will keep increasing instead of declining.
- What Causes Gender Inequality by Robert Max Jackson
- Poverty reduction and social development of Women in Africa by Better Policies for Better Lives