Human Rights Careers

5 Powerful Essays Advocating for Gender Equality

Gender equality – which becomes reality when all genders are treated fairly and allowed equal opportunities –  is a complicated human rights issue for every country in the world. Recent statistics are sobering. According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 108 years to achieve gender parity . The biggest gaps are found in political empowerment and economics. Also, there are currently just six countries that give women and men equal legal work rights. Generally, women are only given ¾ of the rights given to men. To learn more about how gender equality is measured, how it affects both women and men, and what can be done, here are five essays making a fair point.

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“Countries With Less Gender Equity Have More Women In STEM — Huh?” – Adam Mastroianni and Dakota McCoy

This essay from two Harvard PhD candidates (Mastroianni in psychology and McCoy in biology) takes a closer look at a recent study that showed that in countries with lower gender equity, more women are in STEM. The study’s researchers suggested that this is because women are actually especially interested in STEM fields, and because they are given more choice in Western countries, they go with different careers. Mastroianni and McCoy disagree.

They argue the research actually shows that cultural attitudes and discrimination are impacting women’s interests, and that bias and discrimination is present even in countries with better gender equality. The problem may lie in the Gender Gap Index (GGI), which tracks factors like wage disparity and government representation. To learn why there’s more women in STEM from countries with less gender equality, a more nuanced and complex approach is needed.

“Men’s health is better, too, in countries with more gender equality” – Liz Plank

When it comes to discussions about gender equality, it isn’t uncommon for someone in the room to say, “What about the men?” Achieving gender equality has been difficult because of the underlying belief that giving women more rights and freedom somehow takes rights away from men. The reality, however, is that gender equality is good for everyone. In Liz Plank’s essay, which is an adaption from her book For the Love of Men: A Vision for Mindful Masculinity, she explores how in Iceland, the #1 ranked country for gender equality, men live longer. Plank lays out the research for why this is, revealing that men who hold “traditional” ideas about masculinity are more likely to die by suicide and suffer worse health. Anxiety about being the only financial provider plays a big role in this, so in countries where women are allowed education and equal earning power, men don’t shoulder the burden alone.

Liz Plank is an author and award-winning journalist with Vox, where she works as a senior producer and political correspondent. In 2015, Forbes named her one of their “30 Under 30” in the Media category. She’s focused on feminist issues throughout her career.

“China’s #MeToo Moment” –  Jiayang Fan

Some of the most visible examples of gender inequality and discrimination comes from “Me Too” stories. Women are coming forward in huge numbers relating how they’ve been harassed and abused by men who have power over them. Most of the time, established systems protect these men from accountability. In this article from Jiayang Fan, a New Yorker staff writer, we get a look at what’s happening in China.

The essay opens with a story from a PhD student inspired by the United States’ Me Too movement to open up about her experience with an academic adviser. Her story led to more accusations against the adviser, and he was eventually dismissed. This is a rare victory, because as Fan says, China employs a more rigid system of patriarchy and hierarchy. There aren’t clear definitions or laws surrounding sexual harassment. Activists are charting unfamiliar territory, which this essay explores.

“Men built this system. No wonder gender equality remains as far off as ever.” – Ellie Mae O’Hagan

Freelance journalist Ellie Mae O’Hagan (whose book The New Normal is scheduled for a May 2020 release) is discouraged that gender equality is so many years away. She argues that it’s because the global system of power at its core is broken.  Even when women are in power, which is proportionally rare on a global scale, they deal with a system built by the patriarchy. O’Hagan’s essay lays out ideas for how to fix what’s fundamentally flawed, so gender equality can become a reality.

Ideas include investing in welfare; reducing gender-based violence (which is mostly men committing violence against women); and strengthening trade unions and improving work conditions. With a system that’s not designed to put women down, the world can finally achieve gender equality.

“Invisibility of Race in Gender Pay Gap Discussions” – Bonnie Chu

The gender pay gap has been a pressing issue for many years in the United States, but most discussions miss the factor of race. In this concise essay, Senior Contributor Bonnie Chu examines the reality, writing that within the gender pay gap, there’s other gaps when it comes to black, Native American, and Latina women. Asian-American women, on the other hand, are paid 85 cents for every dollar. This data is extremely important and should be present in discussions about the gender pay gap. It reminds us that when it comes to gender equality, there’s other factors at play, like racism.

Bonnie Chu is a gender equality advocate and a Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur. She’s the founder and CEO of Lensational, which empowers women through photography, and the Managing Director of The Social Investment Consultancy.

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Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.

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  • Gender Equality Essay


Introduction to Gender Equality

In a society, everyone has the right to lead his/her life accordingly without any discrimination. When this state is achieved where all individuals are considered to be equal irrespective of their caste, gender, colour, profession, and status, we call it equality. Equality can also be defined as the situation where every individual has the same rights and equal opportunity to grow and prosper. 

Every individual of society dreams for equal rights and access to resources available at their disposal, but there is a lot of discrimination. This discrimination can be due to cultural differences, geographical differences, the colour of the individual, social status and even gender. The most prevalent discrimination is gender inequality. It is not a localised issue and is limited to only certain spheres of life but is prevalent across the globe. Even in progressive societies and top organisations, we can see many examples of gender bias. 

Gender equality can only be achieved when both male and female individuals are treated similarly. But discrimination is a social menace that creates division. We stop being together and stand together to tackle our problems. This social stigma has been creeping into the underbelly of all of society for many centuries. This has also been witnessed in gender-based cases. Gender inequality is the thing of the past as both men and women are creating history in all segments together.

Gender Equality builds a Nation

In this century, women and men enjoy the same privileges. The perception is changing slowly but steadily. People are now becoming more aware of their rights and what they can do in a free society. It has been found that when women and men hold the same position and participate equally, society progresses exclusively and creates a landmark. When a community reaches gender equality, everyone enjoys the same privileges and gets similar scopes in education, health, occupation, and political aspect. Even in the family, when both male and female members are treated in the same way, it is the best place to grow, learn, and add great value.

A nation needs to value every gender equally to progress at the right place. A society attains better development in all aspects when both genders are entitled to similar opportunities. Equal rights in decision making, health, politics, infrastructure, profession, etc will surely advance our society to a new level. The social stigma of women staying inside the house has changed. Nowadays, girls are equally competing with boys in school. They are also creating landmark development in their respective profession. Women are now seeking economic independence before they get married. It gives them the confidence to stand against oppression and make better decisions for themselves.

The age-old social structure dictated that women need to stay inside the home taking care of all when men go out to earn bread and butter. This has been practised for ages when the world outside was not safe. Now that the time has changed and we have successfully made our environment quite safer, women can step forward, get educated, pursue their passion, bring economic balance in their families, and share the weight of a family with men. This, in a cumulative way, will also make a country’s economy progress faster and better.

Methods to measure Gender Equality

Gender equality can be measured and a country’s growth can be traced by using the following methods.

Gender Development Index (GDI) is a gender-based calculation done similar to the Human Development Index. 

Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) is a detailed calculation method of the percentage of female members in decision-making roles. 

Gender Equity Index (GEI) considers economic participation, education, and empowerment.

Global Gender Gap Index assesses the level of gender inequality present on the basis of four criteria: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health and survival .

According to the Gender Gap Index (GGI), India ranks 140 among 156 participating countries. This denotes that the performance of India has fallen from the previous years, denoting negative growth in terms of closing the gender gap. In the current environment where equality and equal opportunities are considered supreme, this makes India be at a significant disadvantage.

Roadblocks to Gender Equality  

Indian society is still wrecked by such stigmas that dictate that women are meant to manage the home and stay indoors. This is being done for ages, leading to neglect of women in areas like education, health, wealth, and socio-economic fields. 

In addition to that, the dowry system is further crippling society. This ill practice had led to numerous female feticides. It has created a notion that girls are a burden on a family, which is one of the primary reasons a girl child cannot continue her education. Even if they excel in education and become independent, most of them are forced to quit their job as their income is considered a backup source, which is not fair. New-age women are not only independent, but they are confident too. The only thing they demand from society is support, which we should provide them.  

Along with dowry, there is one more burning issue that has a profound impact on women's growth. It is prevalent in all kinds of society and is known as violence. Violence against women is present in one or another form in public and private spaces. Sometimes, violence is accompanied by other burning issues such as exploitation, harassment, and trafficking, making the world unsafe for women. We must take steps to stop this and ensure a safe and healthy place for women.  

Poverty is also one of the major roadblocks towards gender equality. It has led to other malpractices such as child marriage, sale of children, trafficking and child labour, to name a few. Providing equal job opportunities and upliftment of people below the poverty line can help bring some checks onto this.

Initiative Towards Gender Equality

Any kind of discrimination acts as a roadblock in any nation’s growth, and a nation can only prosper when all its citizens have equal rights. Most of the developed countries has comparatively less gender discrimination and provide equal opportunity to both genders. Even the Indian government is taking multiple initiatives to cut down gender discrimination. 

They have initiated a social campaign called “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana” to encourage the education of girl children. Besides this, the government runs multiple other schemes, such as the Women Helpline Scheme, UJJAWALA, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, etc., to generate awareness among the people. Moreover, as responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to spread knowledge on gender discrimination to create a beautiful world for wome n [1] [2] .


FAQs on Gender Equality Essay

1. What Makes Women Unequal to Men?

The social stigmas and beliefs that have been running deeply in the veins of all families make women unequal to men. Women are considered to be a burden by many families and are not provided with the same rights men enjoy in society. We are ill-informed regarding women’s rights and tend to continue age-old practices. This is made worse with social menaces such as the dowry system, child labor, child marriage, etc. Women can gather knowledge, get educated, and compete with men. This is sometimes quite threatening to the false patriarchal society.

2. How can We Promote Gender Equality?

Education is the prime measure to be taken to make society free from such menaces. When we teach our new generation regarding the best social practices and gender equal rights, we can eradicate such menaces aptly. Our society is ill-informed regarding gender equality and rights. Many policies have been designed and implemented by the government. As our country holds the second position in terms of population, it is hard to tackle these gender-based problems. It can only be erased from the deepest point by using education as the prime weapon.

3. Why should Women be Equal to Men?

Women might not be similar to men in terms of physical strength and physiological traits. Both are differently built biologically but they have the same brain and organs to function. Women these days are creating milestones that are changing society. They have traveled to space, running companies, creating history, and making everyone proud. Women are showing their capabilities in every phase and hence, they should be equal to men in all aspects.

4. Mention a few initiatives started by the Indian Government to enable gender equality.

The Indian government has initiated a social campaign called “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana” to encourage girls’ education. Besides this, the government runs multiple other schemes, such as the  Women Helpline Scheme, UJJAWALA, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, etc., to generate awareness among the people.

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  • Cultural Issues and the 2024 Election

5. Gender identity, sexual orientation and the 2024 election

Table of contents.

  • Voters’ views about race and society, the impact of the legacy of slavery
  • Most voters, but not all, view the nation’s diversity as a strength
  • How should the country handle undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.?
  • Attitudes toward hearing other languages in public places
  • Biden and Trump supporters’ views about discussing America’s historical successes, failures
  • How does the U.S. compare with other countries?
  • Views of women’s progress
  • How much of a priority should marriage and children be?
  • Abortion, IVF access and birth control
  • Views of gender identity
  • Voters’ attitudes toward use of gender-neutral pronouns
  • Societal impact of more social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual people
  • Religion and government policy
  • How much influence should the Bible have on the nation’s laws, if any?
  • Views on the federal government’s role in promoting Christian values
  • Most voters say it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral
  • Is the justice system too tough on criminals, or not tough enough?
  • Policing and law enforcement
  • How Trump, Biden supporters view gun rights and ownership
  • Views on the increasing number of guns in the U.S.
  • Acknowledgments
  • The American Trends Panel survey methodology

Voters who support Joe Biden and Donald Trump have wide differences across a broad range of issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

Trump supporters overwhelmingly say a person’s gender is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth. A majority of Biden supporters, by a less one-sided margin, say someone can be a man or woman even if that is different from their sex at birth.

Biden’s supporters also are far more comfortable than Trump supporters with people using the pronouns “they” or “them” to describe themselves.

And two decades after the first same-sex marriages were legally performed in the U.S., Biden supporters are roughly five times as likely as Trump supporters to say legalizing same-sex marriage has been good for society.

Chart shows Most voters say gender is determined by sex assigned at birth

Nearly two-thirds of registered voters (65%) say whether a person is a man or woman is determined by the sex assigned to them at birth. About a third (34%) say whether someone is a man or woman can be different from the sex at birth.

Nine-in-ten Trump supporters and about four-in-ten Biden supporters (39%) say sex at birth determines if someone is a man or a woman.

About six-in-ten Biden supporters (59%) say a person’s gender can be different from their sex at birth. Only about one-in-ten Trump supporters (9%) say this.

There are wider demographic differences in opinions about gender identity among Biden supporters than among Trump supporters.

Among Biden supporters

Chart shows Wide differences between Biden and Trump supporters – and among Biden supporters – on whether a person’s gender is determined by sex at birth

Nearly two-thirds of Black voters who support Biden (64%) say gender is determined by a person’s sex assigned at birth. That compares with 46% of Biden’s Hispanic supporters and smaller shares of his White (32%) and Asian supporters (27%).

Biden supporters without college degrees (47%) are more likely than those with college degrees or more education (30%) to say sex at birth determines someone’s gender.

Biden supporters under age 35 (29%) are less likely than older Biden supporters to say gender is determined by sex assigned at birth.

Among Trump supporters

Across demographic groups, wide majorities of Trump supporters say gender is determined by sex at birth.

However, there are some differences among these voters. Hispanic Trump supporters (79%) are less likely than White Trump supporters (92%) to say sex birth determines gender identity, and Trump supporters ages 18 to 34 (83%) are less likely to say this than older Trump supporters.

Changing views about gender identity

Chart shows Growing share of voters say gender is determined by sex at birth

The share of voters who say that sex at birth determines whether someone is a man or a woman has increased since 2017, and this increase has occurred within both parties.

In 2017, 53% of voters said sex assigned at birth determines gender; 65% express this view today.

The share of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who say that sex at birth determines gender identity has grown from 79% in 2017 to 91% now.

In the same period, the share of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters who say this has increased, from 30% to 39%.

Chart shows Wide gap between Biden and Trump supporters in how comfortable they are with use of gender-neutral pronouns

Over half of voters (56%) say they are not comfortable with someone using the pronouns “they” or “them” to describe themselves, rather than “he” or “she.” Roughly four-in-ten (43%) are comfortable with the use of these pronouns.

Biden supporters are more than three times as likely as Trump supporters to say they are comfortable with the use of “they/them” pronouns (66% to 20%).

  • Black voters who support Biden (55%) are less comfortable with the use of they/them pronouns than Biden’s White (69%), Hispanic (68%) and Asian (72%) backers.
  • Hispanic Trump supporters (33%) are somewhat more likely than the former president’s White supporters (16%) to say they are comfortable.

Voters under 50 are more comfortable than those 50 and older with people using gender-neutral pronouns. There is an age gap on this question among both candidates’ supporters, but it is particularly stark among Biden voters: 79% of Biden’s supporters ages 18 to 49 say they are comfortable, compared with 56% of his supporters who are 50 and older.

Chart shows Voters are divided on whether more people identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual and same-sex marriages being legal are good for society

Voters are divided over the societal effects of more people being comfortable with identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual and same-sex marriages being legal in the U.S.

Roughly a third say each trend has been very or somewhat good for society, while about as many say the changes have been bad for society. The remainder say they have been neither good nor bad.

As with opinions about gender identity, there are sizable differences between Biden and Trump supporters.

About half of Biden supporters (51%) say more people being comfortable identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual is good for society. And a majority of Biden supporters (57%) say legalization of same-sex marriage is good for society.

About half of Trump supporters say both changes are bad for society: 53% say this about increased comfort with people identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and 51% say this about legalization of same-sex marriage.

There are age differences among both candidates’ supporters.

  • Majorities of Biden supporters ages 18 to 49 view both trends positively: 63% say more people being comfortable identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual is good for society, while 67% say the same of the legalization of same-sex marriage. About half or fewer of Biden supporters 50 and older share these views. (This group is more likely to instead say that these trends are neither good nor bad.)
  • Older Trump supporters are more likely than his younger supporters to have a negative view of the impact of legalizing same-sex marriage (57% of those 50 and older say it is bad for society, compared with 41% of those younger than 50). There are no meaningful age differences in how Trump supporters assess the impact of more people being comfortable with identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • Black voters who support Biden are far less likely than Biden’s supporters in other racial and ethnic groups to say increased comfort with identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual and legalized same-sex marriage are good for society. About a quarter of Black Biden supporters say these things are good, compared with about half or more among his White, Hispanic and Asian backers.

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Americans have mixed views about how the news media cover biden’s, trump’s ages, an early look at black voters’ views on biden, trump and election 2024, voters’ views of trump and biden differ sharply by religion, in tight presidential race, voters are broadly critical of both biden and trump, most popular, report materials.

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    UN Women is the global champion for gender equality, working to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential. We are trusted partners for advocates and decision-makers from all walks of life, and a leader in the effort to achieve gender equality.

  24. 5. Gender identity, sexual orientation and the 2024 election

    Views of gender identity. Nearly two-thirds of registered voters (65%) say whether a person is a man or woman is determined by the sex assigned to them at birth. About a third (34%) say whether someone is a man or woman can be different from the sex at birth. Nine-in-ten Trump supporters and about four-in-ten Biden supporters (39%) say sex at ...

  25. Gender Equality A Myth Outlines

    Gender Equality a Myth Outlines - Free download as Word Doc (.doc / .docx), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. The document discusses gender inequality in Pakistan. It outlines several factors that demonstrate women are not equal to men, such as poor implementation of laws, conservative mindsets, and economic dependence of women.