Gender equality has become one of the most talked about expressions, both in political and social circles, for the last two decades. Despite that there is hardly any clear understanding about what gender equality actually means.
INDIA CONTINUES to be in state of shock after the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi, her death and some absurd statements about women made by some politicians and spiritual leaders. We, as a nation, require some serious soul-searching about continued shameful mistreatment of women and gender inequality.
Lack of proper understanding of the concept of gender equality often leads to heated arguments that are subjective and often meaningless. UN-proclaimed human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination are central to the consideration of gender equality by reducing the gender-based discrimination due to patriarchal social construct of gender.
Gender equality implies that both men and women should receive equal rights, opportunities and treatment in all spheres of life upheld by society and political system.
Here is the ABC of gender equality:
A: Ascribing equal value to both men and women as the members of larger set of human race as persons
B: Belief in uniqueness of every individual and respect of diversity among individuals
C: Commitment to the principle that both men and women have equal rights and responsibilities
D: Devising legislation and public policies that are gender neutral
E: Equality need not mean sameness but matching the potential of each individual to the approach to its optimal development
Society would not function properly without equal importance, value, respect, rights, freedom of choice and responsibilities to both men and women as individuals.