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  • Yatharth Soni

Role of Gender Equality in the Progress of a Nation


Equality or non-discrimination is that state in which each individual has the same opportunities and rights. Every individual in society yearns for equal status, opportunity, and rights. However, it is a general observation that there is a lot of discrimination between humans. Discrimination exists due to cultural, geographic and gender differences. Gender-based inequality is a prevalent concern around the world. Even in the 21st century, all over the world, men and women do not enjoy the same privileges. Gender equality means providing equal opportunities to men and women in political, economic, educational and health matters.


In the past, gender equality was difficult to achieve and both genders, women and men, cannot reach their full potential in society. It is because there are many misconceptions, misstatements, and misjudgments for both genders. They form a wrong judgment and shape the attributes that influence the thinking of both sexes and also the way we perceive depressed people.


Gender stereotypes are generated in the past. There are always stereotypes towards women and men, since men are more in the decision-making, dealing with the main problems, while women should always stay at home and solve the minor things. Prejudice exists everywhere, with a prejudice comes a stereotype. Gender stereotypes represent a bad message and tend to convey a negative impression on a person. It affects the judgment we form towards both sexes. Each one is unique, it has its own characteristics. It is extremely unfair if we are stereotyped with a person because of their gender. Therefore, the stereotype reflects the truths about realities like that not only men always have courage and strong body to work, on the contrary, women can even perform better than men in all aspects.


Is there a gender difference between women and men in the past compared to today's society? Yes, there is a big difference since it denotes an element of interpretation of social justice. Usually it is based on custom, tradition, culture and also religion, which in most cases is to the detriment of women. In the past, equity in relation to the advancement of women was unacceptable. Your options, opportunities and interests are restricted. Its restrictions have been considered minor and not extensive. It prevents women from fully exercising their rights to reproductive health and equality.


In fact, the reality is extremely cruel to women since in their lives they have been invisible to the world. There is a limitation for women to access basic resources such as education and health care. Everyone has to be educated to gain important knowledge in our lives because a good education makes a big difference where we end up in life.


On the other hand, education becomes a gender imbalance for a woman because it seems pointless to send a woman to school for education. There are a lot of female problems that, in the case of girls, they do not have the opportunity to receive an adequate education in their studies. Discrimination in the field of education always applies to women.


The situation of women in the past has a direct effect on their lives. Women are seen as a strain in the field of resources in a family and therefore they are not educated. Without education, women can hardly express their own opinion, defend themselves monetarily and we emotionally, and it is also difficult to fight discrimination.


Furthermore, a woman's illness is not considered equally demanding of professional help and it is difficult for them to seek health services on their own because they have been conditioned in this way. Ironically, the women produce food for the newborn, but they can only receive a little agricultural help. Should women know how to sew? Should women know how to cook? Should women do all the housework? In the past, a woman's career was to be a homemaker and take good care of the house. They are not supposed to know this and that. Therefore, they can only stay at home and finish all the housework without knowing what is going on in the world.


For men, they are more important than women in the past because they are actors in developing countries and also patriarchal structures where the husband or the leader of a team in decision making. They are always leading in controlling access to a wide variety of resources such as health, educational services, finance and transportation. Engineer, miner, soldier, builder, these are all for men only.


It is because they are expected to be strong and always with courage, courage to work and perform better than women. Men always emphasize traits like tenacity and strength to solve problems. They are not supposed to have weaknesses or vulnerabilities and hide any emotional fragility, as they should not show feelings, as these would make them appear weak or vulnerable.


On the contrary, gender equality has been achieved in contemporary society compared to the past. Today, we are all accelerating efforts to advance gender equality and advance the achievement of women.


Gender equality can be divided into categories of the participation, attainment and the entitlement of obtaining education. All these had been achieved successfully as in women and men are treated equally. First, educational attainments are the most common issue in the past while women do not have the opportunities to study. Education is very important to everyone regardless of gender. It is essential to promote equality of job opportunities and strengthen the economic growth by investing the formal education. Therefore, now the female enrolment in education has been increased because people realise that education is not only for men but women too. Women had improved the productivity and they have a greater ability to further develop their knowledge and skills throughout their lives. When women have the opportunity to obtain education, there will be a better balance in the gender composition of teachers and the endorsement of female role models in professions in the future.


Many of us think of the traditional gender roles for both genders as in only men have the power and ability to be a leader or more job opportunities and women are always associated with child or caring professions. The segregation of jobs is linked with traditions and stereotypes. Only men can be a leader? Only men have the strong body to work? No, women can also do anything that men can do. Everyone has the equal responsibilities and abilities to gain the opportunities to participate in every aspect, in the economy and society. Therefore, nowadays women are more independent than the men as to compare with the olden days. Women have more freedom like releasing out from prison because now they are given the opportunity to lead to an independent life, free to choose what they want, free to choose the jobs and also free to participate in decision-making. That is what they have been freed from discrimination.


In the contemporary society, many of the traditional behaviours expected of men are becoming less emphasized. Men are expected to be strong and should not express the emotional fragility. That is the old concept and untrue statement. Now men are more willingly to share their feelings, express their fears and crying is not a shame for men because everyone has emotions, happy and sad. Throughout the history, men have the responsibility to provide for the family. They are not only providing for the family but also protect them from poverty and take care of their needs. Men are always assume as being the main provider and the main protector of a family as in the head of household. On the contrary, the world has developed rapidly and brought a lot of changes into the traditional roles of men. Now the men are expected to take over the duties of a housewife. They are also taking more responsibility for their children’s care, which includes managing child care arrangements to have an equal share of child care responsibilities with women. It has clearly became more socially acceptable for men to involve in child care, cooking and doing all the house chores as to compare to the past.


Importance of gender equality


A nation can progress and achieve further growth in development only when both men and women are entitled to the same opportunities. Women in society are often cornered and refrain from obtaining the same rights as men to health, education, decision-making, and economic independence in terms of pay.


The social structure that has prevailed for a long time in such a way that girls do not have the same opportunities as men. Women are generally the caretakers of the family. Because of this, women mainly participate in household activities. There is less participation of women in higher education, decision-making roles and leadership roles. This gender disparity is an obstacle in the growth rate of a country. When women participate in the labor force increases the rate of economic growth of the country increases. Gender equality increases the overall well-being of the nation along with economic prosperity.


Gender equality is an important factor in determining the overall growth of a country. There are several indices to measure gender equality.


Gender-Related Development Index (GDI): The GDI is a gender-focused measure of the Human Development Index. GDI considers parameters such as life expectancy, education, and income when assessing a country's gender equality.


Gender empowerment measure (GEM): this measure includes very detailed aspects such as the proportion of seats that women candidates occupy in the national parliament, the percentage of women in the economic decision-making function, the participation in the income of the employees.


Gender Equity Index (IEG): the IEG classifies countries according to three parameters of gender inequality, which are education, economic participation and empowerment. However, GEI ignores the health parameter.


Global Gender Gap Index: The World Economic Forum introduced the Global Gender Gap Index in 2006. This index focuses more on identifying the level of female disadvantage. The four important areas that the index considers are economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, health, and survival rate.


Conclusion


For the overall well-being and growth of a nation, scoring high on gender equality is the most crucial aspect. Countries with the least disparity in gender equality have made great progress. The Indian government has also started to take steps to ensure gender equality. Various laws and policies are prepared to encourage girls. The “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana” (Save Girls and Educate Girls) campaign is created to raise awareness about the importance of girls. There are also various laws to protect girls. However, we need more awareness about spreading knowledge about women's rights. In addition, the government must take initiatives to verify the correct and adequate implementation of the policies.


The perceptions, interests and priorities of both genders must be taken into account because all of them are necessary to enrich development processes. Not everything is "male only" and "female only" because both genders have the same potential for value. Now, we have balanced our minds, generations, and judgments to compare with the ancient days. We believe that greater gender diversity would help promote innovation and fairer growth in the future. Therefore, gender equality had been achieved in contemporary society because today we are more focused on gender equality, fair treatment for all, men and women, since in society the old concept has been changed, the old thinking, the old system and we have begun to approach a new concept of lifestyle.

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