We are all familiar with the phrase “what a man can do, a woman can do”. Today’s world has changed to a culture where women demand to be treated the same as men. Gender equality and women empowerment is a highly debated issue in the U.S and globally (Karamessini and Rubery 135). Besides, it is a visible change which has happened over time even though some people are highly opposed to it. According to Bohnet (128), individuals who do not advocate for gender equity and empowering women argue that women should stay at home and handle domestic work. On the other hand, the supporters of gender equality and empowerment claim that it is important for women to be treated equally as men since are also capable of improving the society we live in. For the past few decades, women have proven that they can positively impact the society just as men. As such, it is vital to reinforce the importance of gender equality and women empowerment, especially to the people who are against it. The purpose of this paper is to discuss, in broader terms, the concept of gender equality and women empowerment. In addition, the main point in this paper is that gender equality and women empowerment is of great importance as it enables women to acquire education and become financially independent.
Gender equality and women empowerment is not new. For decades, women have always fought for equal rights with men such as the entitlement to receive equal opportunities in education and employment, just to mention a few. Some historical events and movements in the 17th and 18th centuries played a significant role in increasing awareness of the importance of gender equity and empowerment (Kabeer and Natali 45). Real changes in the way girls and females and women were treated were more visible as of the early 19th century. For instance, most men allowed their women to work outside home and girls were allowed to go to school just as boys, among other changes. As such, one of the positive effects of gender equity and women empowerment is that women are more educated and as a result, society has become more civilized. However, gender inequalities are still visible. For example, research shows that women are paid smaller salaries than men in the same level jobs in most companies. Moreover, some positions such as engineering jobs are often set aside for men (Waylen 216). To ensure that absolute gender equality is observed, governments should come up with robust gender equality and women programs.
Women should be treated equally as men and should be empowered as they are highly capable of changing the society in positive ways just like men. For instance, when a woman is educated and gets employed, she can impact her family by assisting her partner to provide. In other words, a woman who is offered the chance to acquire education and works improve the financial status of her family (Cornwall 399). This emphasizes the importance of gender quality and women empowerment.
Some people claim that many women have neglected their home responsibilities since they work full time, which is a consequence of gender equity and women empowerment. This is true as women are now enlightened and do not want to stay at home. Instead, they employ nannies to handle most of the home chores (Compact 238). Besides, it is difficult for many women to balance between work and home (Sen and Avanti 191). Even though women become independent when they work, gender equality and women empowerment is responsible, to a large extent for the way women have forgotten their roles in the society.
Overall, gender equality and women empowerment has existed for years even though it became more visible in the early 19th century. As a result, women can now easily access education, get employed, and have become more financially independent. However, as a result of gender equity, some women have neglected their responsibilities at home. Moreover, gender inequalities are still in practice and it is the role of the government to develop strategies to ensure that women and girls are treated equally.
Bohnet, Iris. What works: Gender equality by design. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016: 126-200
Compact, Global. “United Nations Gtobat Compact.” (2015): 204-240.
Cornwall, Andrea, and Althea-Maria Rivas. “From ‘gender equality and ‘women’s empowerment’to global justice: reclaiming a transformative agenda for gender and development.” Third World Quarterly 36.2 (2015): 396-415.
Kabeer, Naila, and Luisa Natali. “Gender Equality and Economic Growth: Is there a Win‐Win?.” IDS Working Papers2013.417 (2013): 1-58.
Karamessini, Maria, and Jill Rubery, eds. Women and austerity: The economic crisis and the future for gender equality. Vol. 11. Routledge, 2013:105-196.
Sen, Gita, and Avanti Mukherjee. “No empowerment without rights, no rights without politics: Gender-equality, MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 15.2-3 (2014): 188-202.
Waylen, Georgina. “Informal institutions, institutional change, and gender equality.” Political Research Quarterly 67.1 (2014): 212-223.