GENDER JUSTICE AND GENDER EQUALITY: NISHTHA KHERIA & VARUN VIKASH

Gender Justice and Gender Equality

Author: Nishtha Kheria 

Co-Author: Varun Vikas Srivastav

Amity law School Noida

ISSN: 2581-8465

Abstract:

Gender equality between women and men refers to equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities for ladies and men and girls and boys. Equality does not imply that girls and men will become identical but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities won’t rely on whether or not they’re born male or female.

Gender equality implies that the interests, needs, and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration recognizing the variability of varied groups of ladies and men. Gender equity that incorporates a level playing field for men & women in order that they need a decent chance to understand equal outcomes is a precondition for ensuring gender equality and human rights. the ultimate word goal in gender equality is to create sure that girls and men have equitable access to and revel in society’s resources, opportunities, and rewards. And, as a component of this, women must have equal participation in defining what’s valued and also the way this might be achieved. Equity may well be a method. Equality is that the result. Gender equity denotes a component of interpretation of social justice, usually supported tradition, custom, religion or culture, which is most often to the detriment to women.

The Convention on the Elimination of all sorts of Discrimination against Women, also called the Women’s Bill of Rights, declares that countries should:
• Act to eliminate violations of women’s rights, whether by private persons, groups or organizations,
• Endeavour to change social and cultural patterns of conduct that stereotype either gender or put women in an inferior position confirm that girls have equal rights in education and equal access to information
• Eliminate discrimination against women in their access to health care,
•End discrimination against women altogether matters concerning marriage and family relations.

GENDER JUSTICE AND GENDER EQUALITY

In our world there is a right given to every human being of gender justice, everyone including the woman and a girl is supposed to live in dignity and with respect. They are entitled to be free without facing any fear. Gender justice is really important for the development, to curb poverty, reduction and for achieving human progress. Through gender justice, it includes the sharing of women and men at their workplaces, their homes and in various national and international communities.

Despite having a great advancement in our society in the past years still, the women in our society are not treated equally and are not provided with the same opportunities as men. They are still caught between the peripheries of the economic, political and various cultural and social rights. If we look at the statistics then around 70% of the world’s hungry people are women. Whenever there is a situation of any post-disaster or any conflicts then the women are the ones who always suffer the lack of security and they are never involved in any kind of decision makings of economic, political or social platforms.[1]

For achieving gender equality, it is necessary to strengthen the women’s agency and their space. Through this, they will be able to achieve social, economic and political security as well.it is even necessary for the growth in the various spheres such as food security, growth in economics and even political stability.

Gender equality is also referred to as sexual equality. It is a position where their equal chances to attain the resources and opportunities without discriminating against genders, allowance of equal participation in economics and various decision makings.[2]

Gender equality is the ultimate goal whereas gender equality and neutrality are considered to be the ways and practices of achieving the goal. Gender parity is considered to be a measure for calculating the gender balance in any situation. Gender equality is considered to be strongly tied to women’s rights which require various policy changes.

According to UNICEF gender equality is referred to as when women and men and girls and boys altogether enjoy the rights and the resources available and the opportunities. Gender equality does not require that all of them need to be treated exactly the same.

If we talk on a global scale then gender equality needs to curb the harmful practices which take place against the women and girls. The practices such as sex trafficking, femicide’s and various sexual violence need to be eliminated as soon as possible. In a study of UNFPA, it is stated that besides having so many international treaties related to human rights but still women are always more likely to be poor and illiterate.[3] Women are given fewer opportunities for having access to property ownership, training credits and employment. They are far less active in politics as compared to men and are always a victim of domestic violence.

Now I would like to throw some light on the history of gender equality. An early advocate names Christine de Pizan in 1405 stated in his book named the book of the city of ladies that the abuse of women is always found on the irrational detriment, which pointed out many signs of progress in the society which are mostly created by women. A scriptural group named the shakers took the efforts to start the gender equality for that he practiced separation of the two genders. He brought Lucy wright to be the part of ministry as he wanted her to become his female counterpart. Then they together wanted to balance the various rights of both the genders in the society. During this society, the best thing was that the women did not have to get controlled or owned by any man. They balanced this gender leadership for more than 200 years. In the later 19th century the suffrage movement started to western cultures towards gender equality through this movement there came many changes in women property rights.

If we look at the post-war era then it would be evident that since the end of world war II a general movement was created towards the recognition of women’s rights by the women’s liberation movement and feminism[4]. Several conventions have been taken into consideration to promote gender equality by the international agencies and the united nation.

Some of these conventions are:

  • A convention related to discrimination in education which was adopted in 1960 and finally came into force in 1962 and 1968.
  • The united nations general assembly adopted the declaration on the elimination of violence against women in 1993.
  • In 1994 the Americans started the Belem do Para convention to end the violence and discrimination against women.
  • On 31st October 2000, a new convention was adopted known as the united nations security council resolution 1325 which dealt with the rights of women and girls and even for their protection during and after the armed conflicts.
  • In 2014 the first lawful binding instrument was introduced in Europe in the field of violence against women known as the council of Europe’s convention for the prevention and combating violence against women.

All these conventions were necessary to bring changes in our society’s attitudes. Due to this even men have started to work in areas that were considered especially for women such as nursing, cleaning and child care. There even came a change in the non-automatic taking of the surname of husband on marriage.

If we see the notion of gender equality then it is very complex from country to country because there are many countries that highly follow gender equality whereas many don’t. there should be a high level of caution when these countries are categorized. Gender equality carries many beliefs with them and not all these beliefs are properly adopted. For example, if we talk about breastfeeding in public, they are now tolerated in some parts of the world but with the condition that if they are in semi-private areas such as restaurants then only.[5]

United nations have one of their objectives which is gender equality which refers to the as universal declaration of human rights. The world bodies have referred to gender equality as human rights which are mainly related to women’s rights and economic development. The united nations millennium development goals report stated that their ultimate goal is to empower women and to achieve gender equality. United Nations are facing various economic struggles in developing countries but still, they are trying to promote gender equality and to make a living environment that is sustainable for all the nations. They want to create a nation where women are given equal pay to men.

Many feminists have created criticism towards the political discourse and the employed policies so that they can achieve the progress in gender equality. They are arguing that the strategies for creating equality are very beneficial and they do not challenge male domination. They always target to improve the situations of women in society. The European Union has done the criticism of gender equality policies because they focus on the various policies related to the public life of women. They then focused on the situation of women in the non- western countries. They wanted to curb the evil of domestic violence that existed within the society. The women in western countries often face these problems such as domestic violence and rape.

The international laws, international courts and gender-neutral human rights have been laid with a lot of criticisms as they are mostly related to issues that are really important to women. Even if there is excessive gender neutrality then it would worsen the situations because then the law would consider both the genders equal then they would ignore the biological facts about women having pregnancies so there can be no equality.

For fighting inequality, Great Britain and many European countries has made gender equality as part of their national curriculum. They consider gender equality issues to be a very serious topic that needs to be debated. The UNFPA has researched that if women and men and boys and girls will work together then they will become successful in gender equality and they can achieve the health and development of the nation.

The effects on health by gender inequality:

Due to gender inequality, there are various effects on health which are mostly negative the WHO has explained this with a really good example that women are not allowed to travel alone, women are even prevented from even asking their husbands to use condoms because of which it harms the women’s health. And according to their study, gender inequality improves men’s health because of the traditional ritual of masculinity.[6][7]

Violence against women:

It is a term that is used for the violent acts that are committed against women. This type of violence includes the violence committed in marriages and violence which are related to customs and traditions of marriage like dowry, forced marriage, child marriage, etc.[8]

Violence committed against trans gender women:

In a statistical study in 2009, it was revealed by US data that transgender people experience a lot of violence in their lives. In Puerto rice, they stated this problem as an invisible problem. It was noticed that transgender women experience a lot of emotional and structural obstacles. Transgender women are not provided with the facility to access health care to prevent STD neither they are educated that how to prevent violence, social services for their help and for their mental health.[9]

Economic empowerment of women:

For greater economic prosperity gender equality needs to be encouraged. If we want gender equality in our country then it would require to promote the female economic activities. For this, a provision of women’s tax also known as the pink task is introduced for women where the goods purchased by women are more expensive than goods marketed to men. The companies sell identical products at different prices.[10]

Girls right to education:

Across the globe, if we talk about education for girls then the conclusion drawn would be that it is very restricted. They are mostly forced to marry early, early pregnancy and many cultures or gender stereotypes at their homes. According to a study 2/3rd of illiterate adults are considered to be women. If the women are educated then it would always bring better outcomes for the children of the world.[11]

Marriage, property laws and regulations and divorce:

All of these are essential for creating gender equality. The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) women experiences unequal treatment in marriages in their everyday lives. Even laws relating to marriage and divorce discriminate against women in different parts of the countries across the globe.[12]

Gender equality in politics:

If we look into politics then I would throw light on two movements. One movement is the Kurdish movement which took place in southeastern turkey in which the mayorship of the town was led by both men and women together and were referred to as co-mayors.[13]

Women’s portrayal in the media:

In the media women are portrayed as a negative stereotype and there is highly criticism of women in the mass media. They are mostly portrayed as housewives or sex objects. They are considered as fragile, less intelligent and are considered to be submissive of men.

If we talk about the statistics then:

  • Women won only 1/4th of the Pulitzer prize for their foreign reporting’s.
  • In 1997 only 9 out of 20 winners were women in the UNESCO.

There are many more statistics but all cannot be discussed here.

Social dimension of gender inequality

If we need to understand gender inequality then we first need to first look at the social reasons for gender inequality. There is always a confusion between the gender and the sexes. According to the study of sociologists that gender is always a behavior and it occurs because of socialization.

In society when people interact then they tend to form a perception about the person theses perceptions and the notions of gender always help a human being to think that with whom they should actually interact and with whom they should not.[14]

The department of public information (2017) stated that equality of genders is not only a human right but it is also necessary to achieve a peaceful world. Economists have also studies that if women are given their right to education, improving their health and can represent themselves in politics and society then it would affect our world’s economy at large.

How to prevent the violence?

This violence against a female is gender discrimination and the stereotypes which gives ignition to this violence. The best way to avoid this violence would be to find the root cause of such violence and then preventing it from happening.

Now we will discuss the statistical aspect of the violence:

  • The world health organization (WHO) stated that 35% of females in the world experience physical violence in their lifetime.
  • VAW has stated that only about 107 of 195 countries have the data available with them which is related to violence on females.
  •  About 49 countries do not have laws that protect women from suffering from domestic violence.
  • In around 18 countries women have to take permission from their husbands before doing any job.
  • In some countries, 39 % of women get marries before their 18th birthday.

Nowadays there is a lot of progress made in closing the differences between the men and women related to their primary education. Efforts are taking place to curb the violence which the women are suffering in their day to day life.[15][16]

LGBT Rights:

There are people present throughout the world that face a lot of violence and inequality in their lives. They sometimes even suffer from torture which can be mental or physical both. They have to suffer all this because of their appearances or the people they love or even due to who they actually are.

Human rights are a platform that always works for the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the rights of transgenders. On the basis of gender people torture kill or execute, arrests based on unjust laws, censorship, etc. [17]

Human rights provide laws that would protect the dignity of such people and they work for people where all the people can stay together as one and has the freedom to enjoy their rights fully.


[1]  “Promoting Gender Equality: An Equity-based Approach to Programming” Operational Guidance Overview inBrief. UNICEF

[2]“Gender equality”. United Nations Population Fund. UNFPA.

[3] “Gender-based violence”. UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved 7 May2015.

[4] “Committee of Ministers – Gender Equality Commission (GEC) – Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 [1183 meeting]

[5]Women’s movements of the world: an international directory and reference guide

[6]“WHO: World Health Organization”. Who.int. Retrieved 14 June 2015

[7]“WHO: World Health Organization”. Who.int. Retrieved 14 June 2015.

[8]Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report

[9]“Experiences of Violence Among Transgender Women in Puerto Rico: An Underestimated Problem”. Journalof Homosexuality.

[10] “What we do: Economic empowerment: UN Women – Headquarters

[11] “Global issues affecting women and girls”. National Union of Teachers.

[12] “Women’s land rights are human rights, says new UN report”. UN Women.

[13] “Crackdown in Turkey Threatens a Haven of Gender Equality Built by Kurds”. The New York Times.

[14]‘A Content Analysis of the Roles Portrayed by Women in Commercials: 1973 – 2008

[15] “Definition of Gender Mainstreaming”. International Labor Organization

[16] “Gender Mainstreaming”. UN Women.

[17] Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Volume 1

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