To get back into writing, after taking a very long break I decided to ask myself the question, ‘Can we ever truly reach gender equality?’. Some believe we can, some believe we can’t and some believe we already have and so this isn’t even something we should still be talking about. As a optimist, I’d like to think we can, but clearly we’re not quite there yet.
I realised that if I believed we could reach a point of gender equality id have to also ask myself how and I came to the conclusion that I strongly believe, that through education is prevention, the prevention of a society where we never reach equality. Education is a primary source of socialisation, children gain a better understanding and wider knowledge of the world through education, especially when they’re younger, leading them to form their own opinions in life. Now if we were to make the details of feminism known to our young people, integrate it into the curriculum, remove gender stereotyping in schools and have children open their textbooks to positive and empowering messages, then then we’d see these same children coming out of school, with a passion to strive towards creating an equal society. We’d teach young girls to aim higher and not feel limited by their gender, we’d teach our young men to not define themselves by toxic male stereotypes and help both to understand the power they have to make a difference.
I then thought about the workplace and how to reach gender equality we need to get over this persistent discrimination that we see there. Women are met with this unconscious gender bias upon entering interviews for example, inhibiting their ability to access jobs as easily as it would be for a man to do so. If we were to dismantle the presence of unconscious bias then both men and women should have equal opportunities to reach the same positions, awarded it based on merit and not their gender. A women shouldn’t be given a position over a man because she’s a women and a quota needs to filled in the same way a man shouldn’t be given a position over a female because he’s considered more emotionally stable for the job.
Last of all I thought about what evidence there is to tell us that we are reaching a point of gender equality, looking at how far women have come to get to where we are today. Feminism has challenged all aspects of life intersecting elements of religion, race, sexuality and more into it creating a society where we begin to see less discrimination and judgment and more acceptance. The amount of women getting into higher education and acquiring positions of power in politics and the workplace is increasing and more focus is being placed on the importance of mental health in men- we are witnessing changes and I’m excited to see more. We can reach true gender equality, I think the only question that remains now, is when?