Gender equality is a matter of social justice as it allows equal access to rights, resources, and opportunities. It is a condition of development and a matter of peace and sustainability. Countless women in regions all around the world face challenges and violence from extremist groups. They deal with numerous threats each day and these limitations weaken the concept of gender equality. Examples of these struggles can be seen with the influx of Syrian refugees. Women and girls from these refugee groups tend to face more violence and sexual explotation compared to men. Around the globe, women form a majority of those living in poverty as they have less power and influence compared to their male peers. When it comes to government, women make up less than 24% of the world parliamentarians. Compared to men, women are also paid 24% less than men for comparable work, across all regions and sectors. 153 countries have laws that discriminate against women economically, this includes 18 countries that state husbands can legally stop their wives from working.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women has outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that by 2030 all nations should make progress towards gender equality by promoting positive policy. This means appealing laws that inhibit the economic development of women and passing policies that improve their ability to move freely. Women should be allowed to make decisions about their bodies and health. These changes also need to be made in the private sector by providing equal pay for all women and men. Unions must take action to improve gender equality by fighting for gender parity in the workplace. Men can support these initiatives by ending violence towards women and supporting successful prosecution of perpetrators. Male CEOs and Heads of State can fight for equal pay for their female counterparts. Trans and gender-diverse individuals also face tremendous violence and mistreatment throughout their lives. We must provide positive and equal environments for all genders when we discuss gender equality. Gender equality is necessary for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future. We have made progress in the last decades but a number of challenges still remain.
What can I do about this?
1. One way in which you can promote gender equality in the workplace is by being transparent about wages. Have an open discussion with others concerning wages, to ensure women aren’t receiving less than men in the same roles.
2. Women have less political power than men. Try voting for more women so that they can have access to political position. By having an equal presence of women in politics or leadership positions, the interests and values of women will be better represented on a political level.