The definition of gender has quite rightly, evolved over the years, from the social construct we as a society created and forced upon ourselves, to something more open, inclusive and fluid.
So what does it mean to have equal opportunities for all in an ever changing landscape? What is gender equality in a world where so many lack access to the most basic of human rights we take for granted?
Gender equality is having the same amount of access to education as everyone else. Although many studies have shown that once women are enrolled in colleges and universities, their chances of obtaining a degree are higher than their male counterparts, it is still very difficult for many women and young girls around the world to gain access to this level of education. Admission to schools, secondary and postsecondary are reserved for men and young boys. Women are still expected to stay home, take care of the household and raise the children.
Gender equality is the ability to marry who you want when you want when you want. It’s the option of using your bathroom of choice.
Gender equality is the right to drive a car. In many parts of the world, those who identify as women are not allowed to purchase a car, let alone drive on the roads. It took till 2018 for women in Saudi Arabia to be given the right to drive a car during their daily commutes.
Gender equality is being able to divorce your husband without needing an eyewitness report to prove spousal abuse. Although it seems uncommon, in many places in the world a women is not allowed to leave an abusive marriage unless someone else can testify to the abuse, which many do not.
Gender equality is getting paid the same wages as a man for equal work. In 2018 women make just 77% off what men make for doing the same exact job. Although we think of gender inequality as something that mostly happens overseas and in very religious countries, the reality of it is, it is everywhere. Even in one of the most advanced countries in the world, women are still less superior in the workforce compared to those who identify as a man.
Gender equality is not having to prove yourself to be good enough for anything that a man is allowed to have. It’s being respected for who you are as a human.