Gender inequality affects people’s lives daily, it limits women from being able to fully speak out about something that may be affecting them in fear of feeling belittled. In some cases, gender inequality even leads to lack of resources and a lack of education. Gender inequality can also affect the community around them, taking the medical field for example, someone may not want a woman helping them because they believe that woman are not capable- which is not at all true, but it has been the case in the past.
The only way the world can grow and learn more is if we get rid of the pedestal that men are put on and give women the same opportunities that men are given.
As Kaur Harvinder states, “women are seen as goddesses, but we fail to recognize her as a human being first” (Indianjounarls, 2016). If a woman then makes a mistake it is seen as appalling and disgraceful, because she is supposed to be all mighty and beautiful- not imperfect.
Harvinder also recognizes that regardless if inside her home or outside, women are violated, discriminated against and degraded. This has been seen countless of times, especially in social media, in movies and advertisements.
Women have always been seen as the weaker gender. Physically and mentally, woman have always been degraded with words and actions. Gender inequality has always been a part of India’s culture. This is due to the fact that India has a patriarchy system, similar to many other countries.
If somebody grows up being taught that their gender is considered/seen as less than another gender, and then they grow up reading and seeing the people around them put the male gender above them, that’s all they will ever know. All they will ever be aware of, or feel, see is that they are less than men. Until, of course, people become more aware of the power that is women and the strength they hold, this won’t really change.
Culture has a major impact on this. Culture has a major effect on how people view certain genders and what their “role” has to be. Culturally, woman are constantly taught to take care of the man before taking care of themselves. To always put the man above all. It can also be seen that woman are raised differently, men can go out late at night but for woman it is not encouraged. Men are payed more than woman, regardless of if the woman worked longer hours. Men are put on a pedestal, regardless of where on the map they are. The only way the world can grow and learn more is if we get rid of the pedestal that men are put on and give women the same opportunities that men are given.
It’s also important to recognize that the fight for gender equality should not fall on the shoulders of woman. What is meant, is that it’s important for everyone to want to join the fight and want to take a step to a better future. It’s important for men to use the platforms they have to shine a light on gender inequality. One thing that stands out every day, is that people don’t tend to second guess a man when he speaks. They tend to just take their word for it, on the other hand, if a woman speaks, they want to know where they got their information from. They start to second guess everything the woman has said- no matter how factual.
According to Zoya Hasan, a political scientist and Indian academic, there are nearly sixty million Muslim women in India, yet economically their voices are not being heard. Hasan mentions how in the Indian Constitution, women’s rights are guaranteed, however in the real world- that is far from the truth. Hasan also states that “legal reform is imperative if women are to achieve a measure of equality” (appropriating gender, 72). This is so important to recognize because without change, or a want to change, nothing will be done. Another statement that Hasan mentions is that, a “women’s lack of rights in law is crucial in maintain their subordination to men”. This is extremely crucial because without education, or without being exposed to what is happening to them and to others. Women will never see how badly they are being treated. Without education, women will not want change, they will not want to be equal because all they have every known- or been told- is that men are above them. That men hold the power and that women are just there to help ease them- far from the truth, but people have to speak out.
Gender inequality can easily be seen in marriage or trying to get a divorce. As Paul Gwynne mentions, it is very simple for a man to get a divorce, all that he needs to do is to inform the wife three different times in three months. Which is simple compared to the woman who, as Gwynne mentions, has to “establish grounds” as Paul puts it (world religions in practice, 174). Another example of gender inequality, as Gwynne puts it, is that men can impose restrictions on their wife, on what she does every day, who she is with, what she is doing and why, her freedom isn’t necessarily her freedom anymore. This is seen so often in many religions and places in the world, women don’t have the power to choose what goes on in their daily life because their husband has already decided what she will be doing.
Another topic that Gwynne touches upon is the topic of polygyny. Which, although it is rare, can still be seen in wealthy men in certain countries (world religions in practice, 175). Men who decide to partake in polygyny can take up to four wives. As Gwynne mentions this is all to help the woman and to help them grow. Although, if partaking in polygyny, the man has to treat them all equally, and cannot indulge in favoritism (world religions in practice, 175). Which is nice, considering that he is allowed up to four partners and the woman involved only have him (although this is mostly choice, in some cases it is not up to the woman.).
However, it is important to mention that India has taken steps in the right direction when it comes to closing all these gaps. As Singh Sumanjeet mentions in his article, the government of India have come up with many policies, programs in order to reduce the gender gap, and to boost women. Sumanjeet mentions a few of these, such as: national mission for empowerment of women, development of women and children in rural areas, awareness generation projects for rural and poor women, and many more (gender studies, volume 15 issue 1). Sumanjeet mentions how despite all these incredible programs, the gender gap between the sexes still remains. Not only does it remain but Sumanjeet mentions that it has expanded by one per cent.
As mentioned in the introduction, gender inequality can lead to a lack of resources and a lack of education. As earlier mentioned, culture has such a major impact on what a woman can and cannot do. Culture brings upon roles that women have to abide to, which forced them into a box, so no longer can they choose what job they want- they already have their job, which is to overlook their husband. Gender inequality brings upon a lack of education, because women have roles they have to fit into, they do not have time to go out into the world and receive an education that can possibly take them away from that.
Which then of course, can be followed by many other negatives. Following gender inequality is a lack of education, which then can lead to an increase in deaths because people (women) will not know what is necessarily good for them or their children, because they did not receive the education that they should of. All in all, it is essentially a domino effect. One thing after another and until there is reform, until there is change within these communities and religions, nothing will truly change.
The only way the world can grow and learn more is if we get rid of the pedestal that men are put on and give women the same opportunities that men are given. Gender inequality affects people’s lives daily, it limits women from being able to fully speak out about something that may be affecting them in fear of feeling belittled. India has a patriarchy system, and although there have been programs and policies put into place, that doesn’t change the fact that gender inequality is still happening.