What Does Gender Equality Even Mean?
Ladies and gentlemen, class is in session. This week we’ll be discussing gender equality (or rather inequality); women’s rights and gender pay gap – all which are synonymous.
This isn’t the first article on gender (in)equality and certainly won’t be the last. The mere fact that gender equality as a topic is still so hotly debated in 2017, is frankly worrying. However, I believe society must acknowledge that this indeed is a man’s world to tackle the issue at hand.
I am quite sure a lot of you might disagree with the above statement. Rightly so, but when social factors are put into perspective, such a remark might not seem so outrageous.
Though it goes without saying that this world really isn’t a man’s possession, it just happens that men have the power and control. But much of this is changing. We’re seeing a relatively massive shift in gender power; from politics to sports/entertainment; science to technology.
For so long men have ruled with no remorse and in one way or the other managed to put the blame on the opposite sex. We are all familiar with the phrase, “Whatever a man can do a woman can do better.” Albeit an arguable phrase, it is quite remarkable to see the massive gap in equality between the male and female species.
Recent studies and surveys show that within the global workplace, women with full-time occupations still only earn “77 percent of working-age men” (Department of Labor, Women in the Labor Force, www.dol.org, 2015). Wow! If you as a man who has a mother, a sister, and a wife (or any of the three) is not disturbed by such a statistic, then it is possible you have no respect for the female sex. And this issue strikes home as well. We are still witnessing substantial gender gaps within education, economic empowerment and political participation in Nigeria.
Before I come to my conclusion, I must point out that I’m in no way berating the male sex whatsoever. In truth, there is no point. In a global society where we’ve witnessed the likes of the first African woman, Irene Koki Mutungi, to captain a commercial aircraft (the Boeing 787 Dreamliner); progression is occurring, but what must be highlighted and criticised is the lack of solution for gender inequality, particularly men’s attitudes towards the issue.
Moreover, it almost seems that with every progression humankind makes there is a setback. Statistics illustrate that violence against women and girls is an increasingly global issue as one in three women worldwide experience violence (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, www.Ishtm.ac.uk, 2013). A problem you would think would and should have been resolved, particularly in Africa – a continent which historically and culturally has always favoured men.
Frankly, from where I see it, it would appear that men still haven’t forgiven Eve for her mischievousness in the Garden of Eden. But surely that’s just petty?