Gender Equality

Image: skdesign

So we’ve heard it all – the cooking, washing and cleaning up the house; minding the children; shopping – basically unpaid care work, is the woman’s duty. Acknowledging the pragmatic peculiarities between men and women, the real issue when it comes to gender equality are the socially constructed distinctions which by design are laden with patriarchal values. It is society that has grounded what differentiates women and men on biological, psychological and cultural norms, and it is society that ought to undo it.

Feminists are habitually under fire for seeking gender equality, often met with statements about being deluded about men and women being the same and how impossible it always will be. Being the neutral being that I know myself to be, I don’t often use the “(mis)education” card when trying to make a point but in this case I’m gunning for it! Lack of education is definitely an uppermost reason why people do not understand that seeking gender equality means seeking the consideration and value for the different aspirations and needs of women to be equal to those of men. It does not mean that women and men want to or should be the same; it means that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities should not depend on whether they are born male or female.

Image: Mario/marrio31

Women have by and large been at the receiving end of gender inequality and because there are more than two genders, it is important to make consideration for gender non-conforming, gender fluid and all people across the LGBTQI+ spectrum as well – making it all the more important to understand and accept that gender roles by society’s typical standards are obsolete and not to be minced with what necessitates or inspires gender equality.

Patriarchy with “maleness” at its helm totally and often intentionally misinterprets and distorts gender equality to feed the fear, insecurity and defence of its erasure. I’ll share what Section 9 of the South African Constitution says on Gender Equality: “Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law…To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.”

Ask yourself – who has been disadvantaged by unfair discrimination when looking at, if we must, men and women the world over?

Someone needs to explain to men, and women alike since some of us tend to be oblivious to the freedoms the Womxn of 9 August 1956 marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria for – possibly in layman’s terms – what equality means, amongst other things…also section 9 of the SA Constitution looks mighty shiny, but our battle as women and girls is far from over because, “How’s the implementation looking?”, the impunity is enough to leave you in shambles. For those that do not know – gender equality is about equal opportunities. It is about women and men being awarded and afforded the same treatment and same recognition for their efforts. Not only at work but at home, at school, at play – in life! To deny it is a violation of a fundamental human right.

Everything that is for women is not necessarily against men.

In commemorating Women’s Month this August, I’d like to share a video I did participating in a Women’s Month celebration by the UN World Food Program on what it means to be a woman in 2020…

3 thoughts on “Gender Equality

  1. Gender equality is a big problem and the way people are raised really contributes to it. Some womxn are raised to think man are more superior and that womxn depend on them

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  2. So true Anathi, and this lends itself to the importance of having these conversations – to empower each other through knowledge sharing aswell. I’m often shocked at how much we still find ourselves at crossroads, as if putting ourselves first means putting down another, yet it is not superiority that we seek but equality. Those of us that know better have the duty to aid in undoing those patriarchal superiority narratives – no girl and young womxn should be left behind!

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  3. Looking at our past.I honestly thought that the opportunities for women have become broader.Only learning presently that there is still a long way to go.I wish more women are empowered to strive for a better situation and more men are getting an eye opener.The idea that women are incapable is so fixed in our minds.We therefore need reminders and motivation like this everyday.

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