4 things that are linked to gender equality
Gender equality aims to celebrate everyone equally, regardless of their sex, gender or sexuality. It is a global challenge that many leaders are trying to solve. It can be linked to a lot of things that you might not even be aware of. Here are 4 things you might not have known were related to gender equality:
Body Positivity Movements
Women and girls are usually the ones being objectified or sexualised. This means that women are told, more than men, what shape they should be, what they should wear and how they should behave. Most body positivity movements are about defying what society thinks women and girls should look like and encourage people to embrace what everyday women represent. Of course, this doesn’t mean that men don’t also struggle with body image. They are just less likely than women to be shamed for their weight or looks because there is more pressure on women to look a certain way. Embracing body positivity is about embracing all body types and not forcing anyone, especially women, to look a certain way to please others. It promotes equality because it’s about giving people, both women and men, the freedom to live their lives without shame and objectification.
Sexual Reproductive Rights
Sexual reproductive health rights and gender equality go hand-in-hand. For many years, and to this day, women’s body’s have been controlled (by their partners, the government and even medical practitioners). Women are the ones who carry babies so their sexual reproductive health is extremely important to consider. However, there is often negligence when it comes to this. For example, the fact that condoms are free while pads are not. Also, it’s not easy for women to get contraceptives, there is not enough education around sexual reproductive health rights, young women are not given safe options when they fall pregnant and women are sometimes forced into pregnancy or into abortion. In order for gender equality to be achieved, there needs to be a bigger focus on women’s reproductive rights so that women have the freedom to choose and the ability to be safe.
Asking for Consent
People often make fun of consent, thinking that they don’t have to ask every time they want to touch their partner or that it’s too extreme. The importance of consent is the fact that many women have been raped, sexually assaulted and sexually abused - all those things are a gross violation of consent. Some of the perpetrators have come out and said things like “She didn’t say no” or “I thought she wanted it”. Understanding consent is important for us to end sexual violence and harassment against women. By asking for consent, you’re recognising that it’s important for someone to be comfortable with a certain action you’re ensuring that you don’t harm them or try to use sex or assault to have power over them.
Ending Gender stereotypes
In order to fully support gender equality, you have to also reject gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes are generalised statements about people based on their genders. For example, thinking that women cannot be leaders or that men cannot cry. Gender stereotypes reinforce gender inequality because, often times, they are based on women being “weaker” than men or believing that femininity is soft and weak and so insulting anyone who has feminine qualities. Gender stereotypes should be challenged because it defeats the point of gender equality. There isn’t a role or chore that is meant for one gender. Everyone should be treated equally all the time.
Gender equality is about giving women and men the rights they need for us to live in an equal society. It is also about giving every person the respect they deserve, regardless of gender, and allowing them to live their lives freely without being judged for making personal choices that don’t harm anyone else. Although it seems like the fight for gender equality is as simple as saying “everyone deserves the same rights” it’s also about making sure that those rights are respected on all levels, from how we speak about people’s bodies to how we speak about people’s capabilities. We must strive to have equality on all levels.
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