Gender discrimination is the practice of prioritizing one sex or gender over another based on sex or gender. Gender discrimination is a violation of basic human right and women are disproportionately affected.
Girls are more likely to experience teen pregnancy, child marriage, and other gender-inequitable social norms and practices. In India, women work unpaid for six hours on average each day compared to men’s one.
Women in the US spend, on average, four hours per day working; men, only 2.5. Over the course of their lives, women will typically labor seven years longer than men doing unpaid employment (Keams, et. al, 2020).
Gender Discrimination in Africa
Although women have a vital role in national development and are the essential part of a society, there are areas where women are not treated in a way they need to be and are victimized by gender discrimination.
Discrimination between men and women persist in several parts of the continent of Africa, which has a significant negative impact on women from a social, economic, and political standpoint.
In several African countries like Rwanda, a system of male headship and female subjugation in interpersonal relationships is established. Male headship and female obedience are considered as both cultural and religious ideals in African continent (Selhausen, et. al, 2016).
Social Discrimination: Because of their gender, women frequently encounter different types of violence, particularly in the social realm.
For instance, 70% of Niger’s poorest girls are thought to have never attended primary school. In West Africa, 44% of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were already married by age 15.
Economic Discrimination: Women still lack economic emancipation and experience prejudice. Due to the differences between men and women in terms of access to economic resources and in the various industries, there are numerous barriers preventing them from engaging in economic activity.
Women continue to work at the bottom of the food chain in agriculture while making up 70% of those employed there.
Political Discrimination: The situation is more complicated when it comes to political equity. In national parliaments in 2018, women had just 24% of the seats.
Women are largely underrepresented in ministries and other legislative and executive organizations. Even so, certain nations stand out despite this low number, such as Rwanda, the first nation where women make up more than half of legislators (Randall & Haskell, 1995).
Despite this worrying reality, improvements have been made throughout the years to abolish discrimination against women and girls on the basis of gender.
Now, many nations, including those in Africa, have made the empowerment of women and girls as well the implementation of programs and policies, that have been dismantling patriarchal notions (Selhausen, et. al, 2016).
Causes and Issues of Gender Discrimination
In comparison to earlier decades, gender equity has come a little bit closer to being achieved on Earth. And there are some examples that support it. Some of these include expanded chances for women in business and politics. However, what are causes of gender discrimination? Some main reasons are listed below.
Despite the world’s well-known efforts to improve education, there are about 1 billion illiterate adults worldwide, with women making up two-thirds of this group. The final outcome of gender discrimination is due to higher illiteracy rates among women and lack of knowledge (Matthews, 1995).
Economic Independence and Infant Life Expectancy
Gender discrimination is not solely a result of education. Even if some women are allowed to go to school and get an education, there are still many barriers in the workplace. Those include lower pay for the work performed. All of this is a result of the belief that women are more vulnerable than men (Erhardt, et. al, 2003).
The recent studies show that states with high levels of gender discrimination also report higher prevalence rate of physical force being used in rape among women. In both men and women, non-contact unwelcome sexual experiences were adversely connected with gender disparity.
A survey conducted in 2018 revealed that 81% of women had experienced sexual harassment in their lives, including verbal and physical assaults, and that 38% of women had experienced it at work (Matthews, 1995).
Racism is one of the most prominent issues associated with gender discrimination. Women are prevailing in the job sector, but the color women are still lagging due to racism and gender disparity. There is an observable difference between the wage of white and color women.
One of the viable impacts of gender discrimination is the division of jobs and opportunities among sexes. In most nations, there is a deeply entrenched belief that males are simply better equipped to perform specific tasks. Men are preferred for high paying jobs as a result of this discrimination, women are earning lesser than men.
Lack of Legal Protection
According to the survey, conducted by the World Bank in 2017-18, there is over a billion women facing domestic, sexual and economical violence due to lack of legal protection. This results in their inability of women to nurture and live a healthy independent life.
Also, there are no legal notices against harassment at different places. The absence of these protection factors makes the gender to compromise about one’s choices and to restrict ones aims (Mannix and Neale, 2005).
How to Reduce Gender Discrimination
Remove the Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap refers to the discrimination between the average salary paid by male and female employees. Employers can ensure that women are not being paid less than males for jobs that are relevant to both sexes. Equal pay in the relevant jobs and comfort zone in the job place can create gender equity (Ely and Thomas, 2001).
Give Girls Access to Education
According to a study by World Bank, women with higher levels of education tend to live better lifestyles, participate in formal labor markets, earn more money, and marry according to her will in later life.
Girls who gain an education can pick up valuable knowledge and skills that will help them thrive in their careers and make better decisions more readily. Gender discrimination between men and women can be reduced via equal rights in education (Addessi, et. al, 2012).
End child Marriage
According to UNICEF, bout twelve million girls get married before they turn 18 years. These forced child marriages are mostly caused by poverty and gender inequity.
Due to the fact that it prevents women from making their own decisions about their own life, this practice by their parents or guardians violates the human rights of the girls.
Ending child marriage can help in reducing gender discrimination in society. It means giving females the right to decide about their marriage and later life (Howe-Walsh and Turnbull, 2016).
Enforcement of Laws
Increasing the enforcement of existing laws on harassment and gender-based discrimination and raising funds for rape crisis centers and other organizations supporting the gender equity are some steps to lessen gender discrimination (Mathews, 1989).
We all know that men and women are essential part of the society, and as such, we must find ways in reducing gender discrimination.
It is a long fight, but with more engaging men and women, more women getting powerful positions, with more women raising their voices, with the help of local and international organizations and NGOs and media, we can reduce, and hopefully eliminate gender discrimination from our society.
Written by: Emmanuel J. Osemota
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