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Gender Equality: Are men and women equal?
Men and women have different physical strengths
The question whether men and women are equal arose after revolution in most countries.In the past and according to history the question about gender equality was not something debatable.It was automatic that women were lesser and could only hold lesser positions in the society.A Woman would in fact be treated as a man's property which in turn justified the beating of wives by husbands.Men would argue that their wives are their property can therefore do with them whatever they wish to do.There is still a widespread belief that women are not equal to men.
Men and women have natural differences based on biological and anatomic factors. Biological differences include chromosomes, brain structure,reproductive and hormonal differences.They also have differences in physical strengths.Men are more physically stronger,more aggressive and externally oriented.On the other hand,women usually embody the ideal of inner dignity which is often confused for weakness while the truth is,that dignity is stronger than the any aggressive physical force. Having stated the differences between men and women,should we therefore say that men and women are unequal due to this differences?
Reasons why men and women are equal despite their differences
Women often argue that they are equal to men.When they are asked what makes them equal to men they say that they can anything that men do for example they can be engineers, lawyers,doctors etc.They cite that these factors make them equal or they should at least be considered equal.What women are saying is that their ability to perform in masculine duties should be used to judge their equality to men.
To determine if men and women are equal we have to first define what is gender equality.Gender equality refers to equal treatment of individuals based on their gender.Being equal does not mean that women and men are the same.It means that they have equal value and should be accorded equal treatment.This therefore means that women,men, girls and boys should enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. This does not require that girls,boys,women and men be the same.
Inequality in education
Areas in which women have not been treated equally
Though the differences between men and women doesn’t make any of them deserve to be treated unequally or be mistreated, women have in most cases not been treated unequally.Below are some examples of gender inequality currently practiced in the world today.
- Income inequalities- Income inequalities have been experienced by women in various work places.Salary discrimination exists when employees are equally qualified and perform the same work but one group of employees is paid more than another. In this case,men have often been paid higher than women.
- Education – While young boys are allowed to go to school,sometimes girls are left at home,helping in house chores while others are forced into marriage at a young age.On the other hand, those who go to school and are educated are sometimes not allowed to get into professional careers such becoming lawyers,doctors secretaries among others.
- At home- Women are traditionally expected to put their educational and careers on hold so that they can raise children while their husbands go to work.Women therefore work more at home doing childcare chores while men take less time in childcare and spend more time at work.
- Divorce- In some countries women cannot initiate a divorce.In other instances husbands can divorce their spouses easily even orally while the wife’s access to divorce is often extremely limited.
- Clothing- In some muslim countries, men are free to wear anything whereas the muslim women can only wear head to toe garments that cover their clothes. Men are allowed to punish and beat women who do not cover themselves up in public.
- Property ownership- Here inequality is experienced in instances such as where men are often allowed to inherit their fathers property while women are not allowed to do so because of their gender
- Citizenship- In countries such as Afghanistan, citizenship can only be passed by fathers to their children while women cannot do the same.In addition,men can pass citizenship to their foreign wives while women cannot pass it to their husband.