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Gender Equality - Not A Goal But A Need


Gender Equality

There is a well-known proverb that says, "Action speaks louder than words". Everyone talks about gender equality, but is anything actually happening? The answer to this question is a big NO . One of the UN's sustainable goals would not have put as considerable emphasis on gender equality and women's empowerment if it had been genuinely implemented.


Even throughout the Middle Ages, horrible prejudice against women persisted considering women as "immortal and inconsistent" as demonstrated by an author John de Meun to which Christine de Pizan vehemently opposed in her book "The Book of City of Ladies" published in 1405.


Domestic violence


The United Nation defines domestic violence (DV) as a act in a relationship wherein a person exerts control over their intimate partner in terms of "physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person" with the goal of frightening, deceiving, degrading, accusing, injuring or hurting them.


According to statistics shared by National Centre for Domestic Violence, 93% of those who sought civil protection orders and were brought to their service in 2022 were women. They also estimate that every week 3 females commit suicide and that almost 30 women attempt suicide each day as a result of domestic abuse.


Education


Girl Education

Women are extremely vulnerable due to lack of adequate educational opportunities..."if we continue to leave vast sections of the people of the world outside the orbit of education, we make the world not only less just, but also less secure” (H.G. Wells; Amartaya Sen). Further, Michelle Obama commented that girls education has direct link to a country's progress. Securing education to women changes not only her destiny but also the fate of Countries. Educating women cultivates manifold gains viz. reduced rate of early marriages and child birth, improved health, decrease in crimes against women like honour killing, rapes and assaults.


Representation in Parliament

Women representation in Parliament

According to study by The World Economic Forum, women ruled 26.1% of the 35,500 legislative positions in 156 nations. With 22.6% of the more than 3,400 ministers globally who hold such positions, women are reported to be underrepresented in these roles. Nine nations, including Thailand and Armenia, reportedly don't have any female ministers. The analysis also revealed that few women had held the office of head of state in the previous 50 years, with 81 of the 156 nations evaluated as of January 15, 2021, never having had a woman in this post. This includes developed nations like the US, Sweden, and Spain.


Workplace and board diversity


Women in leadership positions are equally passionate as males, yet they frequently encounter obstacles, such as about being sceptical about their decision making ability or are being considered inferior. Although women they are making best endeavours on their part, this typical mindset is draining them out and leaving them predominantly unrecognised.


Increased diversity in terms of more women on board means more talent in the boardroom which in turn leads to better advice and better governance,. Boards with larger number of women on board tend to act differently for carrying out its tasks further influencing / enhancing its effectiveness.


Bridging the gap


Despite grave ethical and communal problems, gender disparity also creates a acute economic problems. Gender equality is desirable on urgent basis. Women abuse can be  avoided to large extent by obtaining gender equality. At the same time it is vital for the health of the economy. This is based on a basic principle that every individual is equally  valued and have right to safety.


Ms Anita Bhatia, UN Secretary- General of the United Nations while addressing a press conference, came out with interesting data statistics, having admitted that it would take another:

  • 286 years for a women to obtain equal legal rights and protections as men.

  • 140 years to achieve parity in the workforce

  • 40 years for having a fair 50:50 representation in Parliament

Further, if we aim at eradicating child marriages by 2030, the progress has to be 17% faster from the pace than it has been in last decade.


Gender equality is unquestionably essential for progress. We seriously need to take measures to ensure that each individual has the right to participation and respect. A commendable dedication and representation is desired from every person at each front.


For creating inclusive workplaces, business leadership is absolutely essential. Companies with diverse teams consistently perform better as they have access to wider pool of information on knowledge, risk, reward, and principles while taking crucial decisions.


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