Gender equality still has a long way to go!

Gender discrimination. In developed countries like the ones many of us live in today, we tend to think that this is a matter of the past and Is almost nonexistent. But many of us are unaware that this form of exploitation still shows a grave presence in many third world countries. Because unlike our ancestors who wore corsets, who were assaulted at home, or whose only purpose in life was to bear children and raise them, we have much independence, almost equaling the male section, or so it seems. But this is a deception. The truth in many third world countries is harsh and very discriminative.

Take the case of Niger, in Africa- one in every girl is married before the age of fifteen. The reason? When the crops don’t flourish and the harvests are not as promising, the father, usually the ‘head’ of the family, cannot afford to keep the girl child as well. So the families usually marry the young girl, sometimes as young as 11, so that they obtain a sum of money called ‘dowry’ from the groom. For the drought season, the entire family feeds on this dowry, obtained by ‘selling’ the young girl, who is a tiny immature figure, with eyes still innocent. Oftentimes, these girl children are tortured severely, assaulted, in the family they are married to. They cannot go to the court with, because there doesn’t exist one in the village; there are no laws.

In some remote parts of Middle East, we find ‘honor killings’ for women engaged in wedlock, or even those that dress too proactively. In Turkey, there is no protection for women being abused, there are no shelters or help for women, in most areas.

Let’s now go to an upper class family in south india, one that earns well and lives comfortably, even aristocratically. Even here, we find shocking gender inequality. Also being a patriarchical society, every thinks chauvinist, including the female members of the family. The father is the ‘head’ of the family from whom everyone, including the mother, has to gain permission to even spend Rs. 100( about 1.5$). The male child of the family is the one sent for higher education and earns for the family later. The girl child is mostly not given university education because once a girl is married, she is sent to another family where she becomes a homemaker, in other words, a slave to her husband, and his family. Usually the girl also pays in form of gold and money before she is married. Women are not allowed to go for parties, dress the way they want to, or speak with other men after (or before) marriage.

Illiterate societies in many places of the world prefer female foeticide and infanticide because they believe that the girl child is not ‘worth’ it. Even religions are found to support gender discrimination. Has any religion ever said that a man is equal to a woman? No, every one lists woman as a subordinate.

This is, as bitter as it sounds also present in the most developed countries. why is it that one of the most modern nations of the world, the United States of America, ever had a woman president? Why is it that actors have always been paid higher than the actresses, though both do exactly the same work and are equally popular? Even though females have higher education rates and work more than men in the same profession they still get paid less in America.

Gender discrimination is unfair. Every child is born equal and every human is worth it. Everybody has brains and deserves an opportunity to get their voice heard.  If girl children are given more respect right from childhood, and are brought up with equal importance, the world can change for much better. Though divisions in religion are widely expressed in politics , gender discrimination isn’t and that’s why progress for this section of society is slow. The world can not be made complete by only men. Rights are required for women too, which at least equal the men’s. Women are also equal humans, with equal dignity and talent. Mutual respect between the two sexes can greatly help improve a nation and boost its unity. support me in my cause for building a humanity that respects everyone, regardless of the gender.

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