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Moving forward towards Equality

The Gender Gap

It is shocking to realize that in 2021, women around the world, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation still have to fight daily, both at home and at work, to overcome gender inequality. At this rate, it will take women around 145 years to attain gender equality in politics, and at least another 267 years to close the economic and opportunity gap, according to the Global Gender Gap Report. In areas, such as access to education, inequality has been greatly reduced, yet the global picture of women’s equality is still very far from being achieved.

Women have gone through centuries of struggle to accomplish rights that for many were unthinkable and unthought-of. Simple privileges we don’t even think twice about today like wearing pants, getting a divorce, birth control, and attending university were once revolutionary ideals of the 20th century. The right to vote was women’s biggest milestone as it opened many more doors, such as equal inheritance and property ownership - Thank you Suffragettes, and all women activists in history that were brave enough to stand up and fight for what they believed, their struggles paved the way to where we are today.

Daily-life equality

In a certain way, the fights from the past were more concrete, clear, and evident. The struggle for equality today is not as clear, many believe we have already achieved gender equality. It is true, on paper we are said to be equal to men, but this doesn’t reflect women’s everyday lives at all. We still walk out in the streets with a lower level of confidence and safety than men, especially at night. It is not uncommon for women to carry some sort of protective weapon such as pepper spray, and keys, as well as avoid certain streets, or call a friend on the way home, and more than 60% of women claim to do so. The simple fact that women have to worry daily about what they wear outside to protect themselves in the streets speaks volumes. How many men do you know feel the need to do any of these things?

In this sense, when celebrating Women’s Equality Day today, we need to go beyond the word of the law, and statistics. Our analysis and appreciation of this day should be around our perspective and the challenges we face. To increase our participation in politics, a severely unequal area, to be able to transform our neighborhoods into places in which we feel comfortable walking by at night, or simply teaching our little ones about a judgment-free society in which they can be whoever they want to be.

Let’s challenge ourselves to set goals for the short and long term in which we can create a more equal society for all of us. And let’s remember that more rights and opportunities for one does not mean that others get less, it is not a pie.

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