Gender equality, also referred to as sex equality is credence that everybody is entitled to equal treatment regardless of their gender. From ancient history to date the gender equality debate has been ongoing with the debate gaining more publicity with modern civilization. According to United Nations, gender equality is a major key responsibility of United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations 96). In the declarations, United Nations seeks to establish equality in legislations, social institutions and other economic frontiers. The history of gender can be traced back on religion beliefs of shakers a group that practiced gender equality in early 17th century.
Gender equality is guided by the principle that all people have right of equal treatment in any society set-up. According to Pizan, an advocator of gender equality, oppression of female gender is perpetrated on irrational prejudice . Pizan supports numerous advances that women have contributed in the current humanity civilization. He laments that the advances would have been much more if the is no discrimination against women.
Religion and Gender Equality
In early 15th century the doctrines of Catholic had some gender discrimination that many liberal philosophers like Galileo did not support. Galileo Galilei who was an Italian philosopher and a great scientist, found himself at the center of controversy for challenging Catholic Church dogma on gender equality. Galileo intellectual capacity based on his scientific discoveries and common understanding inspired his quest for gender equality against teachings of the Roman Catholic. Galileo says “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use’’ . Galileo underscored Vatican teachings that viewed women as less intelligence and therefore not fit for ordination.
The questions of gender and personal moral standings still cause intense debate in the current modern church. The debate is founded on issues like position of women in the church, same sex marriages and celibacy. Strong biased beliefs in various religions have been a major limitation in establishing equal rights across all genders. A number of religion followers argue in support of their faith that propagates gender discrimination against women.
Extreme religious orientation in some countries is a contentious factor in gender equality achievement. Many Muslim countries have special belief regarding women. In Saudi Arabia for example, women have equal dignity but not so with their rights. Cultural practices have also had an impact on gender equality. In China culture a boy is more preferred that a girl. This has directly affected the population of women in the country.
Abortion debate has complicated discussion on gender equality. Different states have enacted various laws regarding rights of women in matters of abortion. In some countries abortion is illegal while in others abortion legalized. Some women feel restriction of abortion in their society is a discrimination against their gender rights.
Measurement of gender equality
Gender equality can be measured by analyzing representation both genders in various roles in different economic, political and social sectors. For instance the Central Statistics Office in Ireland, one of the countries known for exemplary gender equality, periodically publishes essential statistics which are critical in evaluating the progress made in achieving gender equality in the country. On the other side, European Union Statistics department periodically releases data regarding different gender sectors such as labor distribution in the market, education and income. Therefore statistics is a useful tool that can be used to measure gender equality in a given society or nation.
Various legislations and affirmative action initiative has immensely contributed to healthy a debate and attitude change regarding gender equality. Currently in many countries there is no occupation discrimination. Occupations that were initially reserved for men such as military forces are being taken up by women. Similarly roles initiated reserved for women are being taken up by men. According to Pew Research, 37 countries out of 38 countries reported that their countries consider gender equality as a somewhat important agenda . The research further states that 65 percent of world median embrace equal rights for women in regard to men. In the research work the author further argues that in most of these countries, gender equality ranks better that support of democratic views.
People across the globe are appreciating progress made on gender equality in the social, economic and political sectors. Gender equality on women has been a major focus in attaining sexuality equality. Through different forums and initiatives in women empowerment has played a critical role in achieving these agenda. International community initiatives like International women’s day are also important forums that have impacted gender equality positively.
- Eilsler, Riene.(2007). The Real Wealth of Nations:Crating A Caring Economics. 72.
- Jacobs, Ron. “Counterpunch.org.” 15 November 2013. From Galileo to the Rights of Women. 18 march 2017 (web)
- United Nations. (2016). “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” 96.
- Zainulbhai, Hani. Numbers, Facts and trends Shaping Your World. 8 March 2016. 18 March 2017 (web).